Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 33
Love and power are mutually exclusive. Or are they?
I had wondered if one can love and still be a force to be reckoned with. If one loves, and is thus compassionate and forgiving, then one is likely to be taken advantage of in this world, isn’t it? If one loves and will not ‘do whatever it takes’ to succeed and amass influence, then how can one be powerful?
Words like love and power are used so often we take them for granted. We assume we know what they mean. We assume the words have ‘universal’ meanings. Not so. There is love, and then there is Love.
Small letter ‘love’ is the human feeling that is relational and conditional. Here love and power can be great allies. How often have we ‘loved’ as a means of keeping control – ‘if you love me, you will…’ or ‘I love you so…’. How often have we used ‘love’ to keep our ego safe in our social world? We say we love, by doing for another, anticipating appreciation, of acknowledgement such that the reciprocity is our way of keeping the other within our influence. As a result, how often have we been ‘angry’ or ‘disappointed’ for another’s ‘ungratefulness’ or ‘ignorance’? How often have we failed to acknowledge or accept kindness shown to us to indicate we are still in control, to show we do not need?
This ‘love’ is psychological intelligence which originates from the mind. We know that mothers ought to love their children so most of us do. We know when we encounter the special someone and we react in ways which have been culturally prescribed. I am not judging this love, it is an invaluable human experience. I do not undermine the thrill, the kindness, the care, the attention that this love can be.
Then there is ‘Love’ with a capital ‘L’ which is unconditional. This comes from soul wisdom and resides in the heart. This is the Love that is universal, soul-expressed for humanity, which acknowledges that we are at one with our world, which honours our interconnectedness with one another. This Love just is. It is heart vibration reaching out with no expectation of reciprocity. It does not control, it does not seek to direct or judge. This is in the exquisite moment when you squeeze your child so tight, smelling her hair and willing to die for her. Or when you look into your beloved’s eyes and know that you are home. In those moments, you are invincible, you are indefatigable, you are powerful beyond measure.
We all have had those moments, however fleeting. You see, Love is Power, its essence nurtures and uplifts, strengthens and guides, enfolds and protects. It is not power over another, rather it is power of mastery of self.
Imagine if these moments are sustained… How amazing would the world be!
Often Fear keeps us from Love. Our fear of not being connected, of separateness compels us to hang on to the objects of our connectedness; we inflict our cerebral, sexual or physical power upon them in our attempt to keep them to us. For ultimately we long to be safe, we yearn to have the embrace into which we can fall. But in our Fear, there is no Love, only conditional love.
Be still in silence. Listen to your heart. Notice your body sensations. In Love, you will feel light and open, free and embolden, powerful and invincible. All is possible.
May you experience Love always,
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