I want to see more love in the world.
When I say that, I don’t just mean people being kinder and sweeter to one another. Yes, that would be great, but I want to evolve our world, reimagine it using new foundations, and kickstart a cultural paradigm shift wherein millions of people practice a new form of love I call Universal Love.
Currently, I define it as follows:
Universal Love is love emitted in every direction, cultivated for everyone and everything, everywhere. It is love for others without sacrificing love for the self; it is caring unconditionally but maintaining healthy boundaries. It is the vision of a bright future for all of humanity without turning blind eyes to the present, and without denying our troubled past. It is being truthful and authentic, even and especially when it feels vulnerable to do so. It is valuing our connection to each other and this world and understanding that we are all in this storm together.
Universal Love, or simply Love with a capital L, is a practice of seeing the joy and beauty in everything that is, to marvel at life like a newborn. It’s being at peace with the perfection of this world, and learning to love your own existence within it.
Our world is hurting, but what is hurt is not imperfect; having a broken heart does not lessen how special, valuable, and worthy of love and belonging you are.
The world is perfect as it is, and so is my desire to want to heal it. — Ram Dass
I started down the path of Universal Love years ago, when I Declared My Rock Bottom. It was a turning point because from there the only way is up. It taught me to love each hardship for the opportunity for growth it provides. Each challenge became something the universe (or life, God, infinite intelligence, pure chance and chaos—read it as whatever works best for you) was trying to teach me.
It wasn’t a matter of “silver lining” my whole life, or engaging in toxic positivity
; I still struggled, enduring pain, hardship, sadness and depression—and I acknowledged those experiences for what they were. Instead I newly embraced two fundamental elements of Love: Air
💨 (to Believe in Possibility
) and Fire
🔥 (to Embrace Vulnerability
). I reminded my brain to see that it was good
to sit with the discomfort, work my way through it, and expect something better at the end of the struggle.
And if things got worse and worse and worse? Then the struggle just wasn’t over yet.
In the past I had found meaning in my life by doing fulfilling work and supporting good causes, especially around protecting human rights and marginalized groups. True meaning and fulfillment always comes from being in service to others, to give what you can without depleting yourself. But somehow, it wasn’t quite “right”—and a giant giveaway was that social justice work was simultaneously successful as well as contributing to societal divides.
The idea of Universal Love, of practicing it every day to develop an understanding of other people, even those who I fiercely disagreed with or whose actions I would unequivocally condemn, from the perspective of “how might I love this person?” helped me see the world differently.
I often go back to this quote my mother taught me:
Nothing human is alien to me.
If I had had the exact same lived experiences, been told and taught the exact same things, and had made the exact same decisions in the past as someone I presently opposed: would I really be so different to them today?
Think of that in the context of someone you oppose or dislike, and then ask yourself:
How might I love this person?
Till next time! 💖
Be with Love,