Love is without a doubt the most romanticized, controversial and powerful word/emotion in the history of human existence.  It is a term and a concept that has and does shine more brightly than all others.  Its meaning and effects are diverse but are nonetheless universally recognized across societies and individuals alike. 

So what is love?  How do YOU or I define love?  These are two questions that are incredibly important to our existence.

It is a commonly held notion that without love, we cannot and will not survive as a species.  Perhaps this is because love, in its most basic and universally understood form, is about “support”.  It is the shoulder upon which the worlds’ troubles and miseries most comfortably rest.  Love is an understanding.  It is the act of easing the suffering of the world with practices like compassion, kindness, and forgiveness.  It is a voice that says, “Do not worry, I am here”.  It is giving, and it is selfless.

Love is ultimately what defines who we are.  Our ability to understand love's many dimensions is what distinguishes us as the most ethical species on this planet.

Those who are only capable of loving themselves are often those who society and history condemns the most.  This is because the energy of these people points selfishly inward.  They are only concerned with the growth and security of their own personal happiness and well-being.  The entire world may suffer in their midst, but as long they are free from suffering and misery themselves, they are content.  In their spirit, they lack empathy and compassion for their fellow-man. 

What these troubled souls above are essentially unable to accept is their own mortality.  They fear death, and as a result they fear the sacrifices that come with love.  And so they run from it, are haunted by it, and will do anything to resist it. 

In effect, they are cowards.

On the other side of the spectrum of love, is the coward’s antithesis.   These are the incredibly rare and beautiful souls who love unconditionally and with all their strength.

These are the people who society and history places upon the highest pedestal.  The energy of these people is constantly pointed out and into the world so that all may benefit from it.  Their first concern is with the happiness and well-being of others.  When the world suffers and is in misery, they will also suffer and be in misery, because their joy is always a product of the joy of others.  In spirit, they are selfless, and as such will unfailingly place the well-being of others ahead of their own.

The souls of these people are capable of such true love because they are in tune with the temporary nature of their existence.  They are able to accept death, and this provides them with the integrity and fortitude to place others ahead of themselves and to lay down their lives for a greater good if necessary.

They are in effect, courageous.

And at the end of the day, that is all that love requires.  Courage.