This human heart inside of you is only about 12 cm in length and weighs less than 350 grams. Small enough to fit on your hand, yet containing an energy portal big enough to fit the whole universe.
Love is big.
There are not that many things we need in this life. Water, food, sleep, air to breathe, a way to let go of residues (the famous n1 and n2). Everything else we say we need is not a need for our survival as much as an aspiration, a desire that adds up to our human experience, but that we can do without.
Except, we need love. Love is one of the most basic and fundamental human needs. This includes not only being loved, but also loving others.
Despite this inherent necessity, no basic need is as misunderstood as love. Being easily associated with attachment (or even freedom and detachment), neediness, and total acceptance, when dealing with conflicts we get lost in our heads and don’t know what action to take. What decision would be loving?
If someone hurts me, should I forgive it all, out of love? Are my frustration and resentment a sign that I am not that loving? If I speak up and set strict boundaries, is that loving?
As we see love as kind, soft, and accepting, love becomes somewhat weak and powerless. This view of love as forever understanding and sweet is great to justify the lack of action and voice of people who have issues with confrontation and speaking up. In the name of love, they get to keep in their comfort zones, even with an air of superiority over those who dare to stand up.
See, love and being nice are not the same thing. Love can be nice — but it doesn’t need to be.
How much power can love have?
Love can move mountains — when we add to it power.
Love and power are different energies. Power is raw energy itself, and gives us the ability to act, to manifest, to make things real.
Any idea or feeling deprived of power doesn’t materialize as it stagnates within our minds or emotional/physical bodies. Energy stagnation leads us to be frustrated, tired, unmotivated, depressed, stuck.
Without power, life is not feasible.
Power puts things in motion. Say you have a vision, a dream, a goal — you will need the power to make them come true.
Power is stamina, energy, motivation, commitment, discipline. Fire. Yet power is not an end in itself. Here is one of my favorite quotes about the relationship between love and power:
“Love is identified with a resignation of power and power with a denial of love. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power is at its best love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” Martin Luther King Jr
Without power, we stay in wishful thinking — and never move mountains. Too much power and not knowing what it is for is also a recipe for frustration, burning out, distraction, self-destruction, and confusion — merely because we have too much fire. This is what happens when we work nonstop and do all these things we “have to” but still haven’t found what we actually want to do with our lives — what is this power for?
Power is to be channeled into something — and we can absolutely channel it into love.
The Power of Caring
The power of love lies in our ability to care — and to act on what we care about.
Let’s do an exercise. Tell me: what do you care about?
Step 1: list five things you consider you care a lot about.
Step 2: name a few actions you have taken regarding the things you say you care.
For instance, you say you love horses so you go horse-riding every Sunday, and read two weekly newsletters about horses and tournaments. Maybe you care about permaculture so you have registered for a full-time course starting this Summer. Or you care so much about your daughter you put surprises in her lunchbox, pick her up in school and cherish playing with her on your free time.
I know this sounds too simple of an exercise but here is the thing: we all say we care about a bunch of things that we don’t really care about. We say we care about climate warming but don’t do anything to change it. Or we say we care about beauty and nice things but we dress ourselves in rags.
The result of this is that we either don’t know what we love or we are not giving our best to the things we love, which is upsetting.
When we love something, we not only care, but we give more of ourselves to it.
One thing I can say about love is that lack of honesty and integrity is never loving.
So why do we say we care about these things? Because we think we have to, for social pressure, to be accepted, out of fear and shame. Or maybe we actually do care about climate warming but we are missing power and therefore our love becomes stuck within and doesn’t manifest. In this last scenario, it becomes weak and can harm us (as any stuck energy would).
Crazy enough, in a society based on fear, we often confuse love with fear.
We do a bunch of things out of fear (e.g. caring for climate warming out of the possible devastating effects it could have on us, vs out of love for nature and for human society). Which one is it, really?
Love wants to be expressed. Love wants to give. Love is light and spacious. Love wants to be — and go beyond you, through you.
We all have the potential to be immensely powerful — if we act on our power. If not, it remains untapped potential.
In the case of not acting on love, it becomes untapped love — overthinking about love, craving love, and yet, loveless. If you don’t act on what you say you care about, then you are not loving. Rather, you are holding back love. Again, withheld energy hurts us.
A side note here: I am not saying you should act on that ex-partner you love but that made very clear he/she doesn’t want to have anything to do with you anymore. But maybe write a song, cry, paint. Allow that energy to move, to transform, instead of keeping it stuck and reviving it.
If we love and care about something, we act to make it flourish and become better.
That is what caring means — and love cares.
Now, don’t get me wrong. No one can care about everything. Not directing your energy to love and care about something is far from meaning it is not important — it is about acknowledging what you love and where you decide to direct your energy.
In a world where we are surrounded by tragedy and information overload, we get overwhelmed. As a response, we become indifferent. Our indifference is nothing besides a coping mechanism, to handle the modern world. Unfortunately, by protecting us, our indifference also turns us loveless and powerless.
Here is the thing. World hunger is important — it happens to be one of countless important topics. We live in a complex society, and each one of us has a different part of the puzzle. No one can possibly direct their energy to everything, it is not feasible.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
We have one heart each. Gladly, together we have 8 billion hearts. Personally, I direct my attention and donation to preserve ocean life rather than world hunger, for that is what I care about. I don’t judge myself for being able to say what I care about and what I don’t. I am grateful for other people who care passionately about things that I don’t act on. Shame and self-judgment are not productive to being more loving. If anything, they make us less compassionate and understanding towards ourselves, and towards others.
Love as Nurturing
Love is an energy of nourishment, and, because of that, love knows when it needs to act and when it needs to back off. In other words,
love knows when it is supportive to say yes, and when it is supportive to say no.
Let me ask you something: would a loving mother allow her small child to eat ice cream whenever the kid wanted? Or would she say “enough for today”?
That’s the power of nurturing, right there.
The mother knows when it is fine to say yes and when it is best to say no.
This is power applied to love. Not all-accepting, and letting anything happen — because love cares.
Now, being honest and having the ability to speak up and say no don’t mean being rude and ruthless. But it also doesn’t mean always being nice and polite. Or how would you react to someone who was being violated in front of you? Would you stop by the aggressor’s side and have a heart-to-heart conversation — or, out of caring for your violated fellow human being, would you use the strength of your care to stop the violation?
Love is strong because love cares.
Due to caring, love knows when to say no and stand up for it — for the mother wants the child to grow and thrive.
When not strong in our love, we overwater our plants or let them die without water. In our inability to act on love, we allow things to phase out, to suffer, be disempowered, and die.
The way of the heart is the middle way
The power to discern is to be added into everything, be it a thought or feeling, so that we can make sensible decisions.
‘Nothing in excess’, is one of the maxims of the Delphi temple in Greece for a good reason.
Harmony. Always accepting everything is distorted and not loving; it is powerless. Always going to war for everything is also not love; it is distorted, and ruthless.
Every situation is a different situation, moving the pendulum of what is loving at that moment. What is nurturing and will allow what we love to grow changes. Sometimes being overprotective is not empowering of the person we love. Other times, we need to protect what we love.
The middle way requires discerning when we are on our way to killing our darlings. Anything in extreme is missing judgment.
When love loses its ability to say no, of enough is enough, it has lost its reference point. It no longer cares about the nurturing of what we love, but about our ability to enter confrontations and to stand for ourselves. It becomes confused, and self-indulgent in our desire to be liked and accepted.
Love is such a huge energetic portal and dealing with this amount of energy is not easy. It requires strength — power. A strong nervous system that can deal with adversity, for we live in a world where everything can collapse, lots of work is needed, and maintenance never ends. To be able to handle love maturely is a huge job. The needier and more emotionally immature we are, the harder it is to handle this energy.
Love asks us to first and foremost care about ourselves.
Know how to give and to receive. Love ourselves. Nurture ourselves. Meaning to also not be over-indulgent, because we too can overwater ourselves.
You can only give what you already have.
So love yourself, and overflow.
Love is kind, soft, and sweet. But love is also strong and discerning to take you out of your comfort zone so you can keep growing because love wants you to thrive, and not stagnate. And so, love knows how to say no when something is not good for you.
Caring about yourself. Caring about your dreams. Caring about the causes that are dear to your heart. Caring about the people you love. With integrity. In totality.
Love cares. Love lives, learns, and adjusts. Love acts. Love cuddles, love fights. And so our life gets to expand.
Connect to Your Heart
Ready to go deeper within you? Watch my masterclass Connect to Your Heart, and learn how to strengthen your self-connection.