“Love is a gift of our inner most soul to another so both can be whole.” ~Buddha
As my mother and I were enjoying a Sunday afternoon in the park, my mother was looking so intently at a young couple, so I changed my gaze to look. Even though neither my mother nor I knew the couple, we knew instantly — just by the energy around them — that the couple were new love interests, dating and exploring each other. Like two love birds, each person was eager to impress the other. The young lady had on her sexiest outfit with a mini skirt and high heels, while the young man acted chivalrous by carrying her bag and trying to be funny. Boy, did she laugh at his jokes, and, boy, did he have the biggest smile on his face. My mother looked upon the fresh love with such fondness and nostalgia, and she recalled her dating days in 1950’s when my father used to take her to see American Hollywood movies on a military base where they had met in Korea.
Like the air we breathe, whether we are seeking that new exciting love or pining for those days of first love, we can not live without love. No matter how many divorces or separation, love never tires and we can never give up on it. Unfortunately, too many of us make the mistake and use love to serve our egos, which creates unhealthy co-dependent attachments to people. God and the Universe really created love to help us tap into our divine selves and serve a higher purpose. Love is our highest vibration and the greatest expression of our spirituality.
When love is attached to our egos, it creates a selfish intention — to serve ourselves — so problems in the relationship naturally occur. Ego love is fake because it is only a desire to control, as Thich Nhat Hanh says, “When our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.” When we use love for the wrong reasons, we find that the relationship becomes unsustainable, leading to separation and divorce. Awhile ago, I was asked to provide some advice by a single mother who had been divorced 3 times. When I reviewed her history with men, I realized that she was always looking for men to take care of her financially. Rather than finding herself by making her own way through financial independence, she always depended on men for her livelihood. Eventually she created a story in her mind that she could not survive without a man’s financial support. Because she used love and marriage for the wrong reason — to bring her financial and material security — she missed the whole purpose of love, which was the reason for the multiple failed marriages. While hearing the truth was uncomfortable and painful, she realized this was the dysfunctional pattern in her life.
Just as unhealthy, I often see others use love to service their emotionally co-dependent tendencies. Like a drug addict or alcoholic, many use love as their drug to suppress unhealthy emotions and attachments. I knew someone who stayed married to an alcoholic for 20 years because she was simply co-dependent. It is hard enough to stay married for even 2 years to an alcoholic, let alone 20 years, which tells you how strong her emotional co-dependency became. When your co-dependency is so deep, you would rather stay in an unhappy relationship than walk away, just as a drug addict would rather commit crimes to get the next fix, rather than leave the drug. When love is used as an emotional crutch, it becomes most destructive to yourself because eventually when the illusion of “love” disappears, you fall so hard on life — like a drug addict who experiences horrific withdrawal symptoms when drugs are taken away.
True love when shared by two people or more is to serve a higher purpose. As the Universe and God are love, love is always with us, so we do not need to fear that it will leave us behind. As in nature, when two animals come together to propagate, it is to serve the higher purpose to keep our ecosystem and environment in harmony. If we use love to only serve ourselves and not for the higher good of our world, then we create problems such as war, disease and hunger.
When we understand love’s divine purpose and make that shift in our own mind and energies, we practice compassion and serve our fellow humans. In helping others, we transform our collective consciousness. Love has such a powerful ripple effect. When two souls come together, their love is a drop that falls into a pond, where now 100 people share love which then drops into a lake, where now 1,000 people share the love which then drops into an ocean, where now millions of people share love, thus changing our collective consciousness. When our collective consciousness changes to love, what problems can we not solve in the world? If our collective love for each other is all that exists, we would not have wars, famine, disease and poverty. The Universe created love so we can use it for the higher purpose of bringing peace and harmony into our world.
The foundation of love is really about giving, not receiving. As we give love, we naturally receive it, so our primary intention and focus should always be to give love, not receive it. As in the classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” at the end when George Bailey got into financial trouble, so many people contributed money to his cause, returning the love that George showed to everyone his entire life. He never imagined that he had so much love in his life. So our love should extend far beyond our own family and friends because love is naturally reciprocated even more than you had ever expected when we give it out unconditionally.
When love is our highest intention, it becomes the intention for everyone around us — whether it’s to the closest member of our family or the homeless person on the street. In a Course of Miracles, it says “when you want only love, you will see nothing else.” In true love, we recognize the other person as divine, so our love transcends the temporal form of our bodies and moves into the eternal plane of our souls. That is why when you meet someone who is physically beautiful yet has a bad personality, we start to find them ugly. Conversely, when we meet a physically less attractive person yet has a wonderful personality, they start to look more beautiful. Love which serves a higher purpose will always transcend ethnicity, color, background and financial status, eliminating the divisiveness of our world. So even if there are millions of souls, love for a higher purpose makes us universally one and the same.
When we are able to share love in a divine way, that is when our souls are fulfilled, as Buddha said, “love is a gift of our inner most soul to another, so both can be whole.” Like two love birds on a tree that come together to make nature whole, we must embrace love to serve a higher purpose to make our souls whole. A state of being whole is when we have come home and truly found ourselves.
By Moon Cho, Creator of Ying & Yang Living