God is love. Growing up, I heard this over and over, and was not particularly moved. Until it hit me very recently that I was not applying proper sentence structure. I had always processed this truism as, “God is loving.”
Love, though, is a noun, not a tacked-on adjective. In fact, it’s a power noun, a predicate nominative equal in stature to its interchangeable subject. God is love. Love is God.
Love is God. Accept this, and suddenly God transforms from a cloud-hopping, hierarchical being to an energy force that beams through us, magnified in our actions and broadcast by the recipients of our love. If love is God, perhaps we are too immersed in the divine to see it clearly. Its shadow, fear, tips actions too often toward war, starvation, abandonment and abuse. Love permeates our world, and, like the force of gravity, we tend to underrate it until it’s gone.
In yoga, we peel away at our exterior seeking the unconditional love at our center. Love is the source of inner peace, and purport of a life’s journey. It’s our fundamental nature to love, if we let the ego and its false boundaries drop away. Once we cut the struggles, resistance and fear, we are naturally loving. We become messengers of God and divine healers simply by being our truest selves.
It’s one thing to act with love in our personal lives, but we often struggle to infuse love into our actions and choices in business, diplomacy, research, leadership, and finance. We draw this invisible line between personal and “other,” creating borders that deny love’s entry into the exchanges that shape our world. We do this individually and collectively. What if instead of numbers we let ourselves see souls in all matters of life?
Recently a dentist saw my grandmother through the lens of love. She had taken a medication that damaged her teeth and she was in pain. To repair her teeth, she needed thousands of dollars worth of dental work that wasn’t covered by insurance. Loved ones contributed a tiny fraction of what she needed, but she had no way to cover the balance. She resigned to completing minimal procedures, having her damaged teeth pulled and making due.
When she arrived for her appointment, the dentist was flooded with compassion. His mother had experienced a similar issue, and my grandmother reminded him of his mother. The dentist offered to perform the original full treatment at no charge, but it would have to be done in increments. When he had cancellations, his office would call her and she’d have to come directly there. He didn’t stretch beyond his means, but he was flexible in finding a creative solution, because he was motivated by love.
One small gesture of family support morphed exponentially when love factored into this dentist’s work. He allowed himself to see his patient as someone in the likeness of his own mother rather than a file number, and the love he channeled inspired his generous offer of service and intense appreciation from my grandmother. By sharing her story, she fanned the ripple, reminding me of the unpredictable gifts and chain reactions that tiny acts of love can open.
Ironically, when we live isolated from a place of veiled fear, we often feel as if we are protecting ourselves and our immediate families, but what unfathomable opportunities and ripple effects are we stunting in the process? Reaching out, opening to others and seeing people with compassion opens a two-way floodgate of love, a passage of God.
- Evaluate your acts of self love with divine reverence. In what ways can you show yourself more compassion moving forward?
- Do you draw a line between your personal and professional life in terms of how compassionate you are in your choices and actions? Consider how you can bring more love into your professional endeavors.
- Who do you fear or feel negative feelings toward? Imagine sending love to that person. How do your thoughts or feelings change?
- Take a comfortable seated position for this simple meditation. Close your eyes and follow your natural breath. Set an intention to connect in love with all. Slow and deepen your breath. On your inhale, and silently say to you self, “So.” On the exhale, silently say to yourself, “Hum.” Continue repeating the mantra “So Hum” with the breath for 10 to 20 minutes. Note the changes in your emotions, thoughts and physical sensations following this meditation practice.