LOVE IS ALCHEMY
Having a day to celebrate the many kinds of love that we feel is a real gift. It seems that the more our worlds spin with chaos and negativity the more we need celebrations of connection, friendship, acceptance and love. Dr. Martin Luther King gave a lecture on love talking about the beauty of the Greek words for love. There are different types of love; romantic love “Eros”, intimate affection between friends “philia”, and then there is “agape” which is more than romantic love and more than friendship, it is understanding.
Dr. King goes on to say:
“Eros…a romantic love for your mate. It’s inevitable a little selfish. You love your lover because there is s something about your lover that moves you. It may be the way he talks or the way he walks or the personality or the physical beauty or the intellectual power-but it’s always based on that there’s something that attracts you.”
“Philia…intimate affection between personal friends. These are people you like. It’s reciprocal love. You love because you are loved. You love the people that you like. People that you like to sit down at the table and eat dinner with. People you dial the phone to talk to. People you go out with. This is friendship.”
“Agape…is more than romantic love, more than friendship, it’s understanding. It is creative and redeeming good will toward all men. It is the love of God operating in the human heart. It is the overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. And when you rise to love on this level, you love people who don’t move you. You love those that you don’t like. You love those whose ways are distasteful to you. You love every man because God loves him.”
In Chinese medicine the heart plays a crucial role in our energetics. We call the heart the Sovereign Ruler and it’s role is to benevolently dictate how we follow our path. Our heart is what houses our spirit, some may even say our soul. The essence of our desires, the path we choose to follow for our careers, where we live, and who we love is all respectfully delegated to the heart. In yoga there are specific poses just to open the heart. There is no culture on earth that doesn’t have literature, music and poetry all about the heart.
So as we dole out portions of our heart to love our mates, our friends and our fellow humans it is important not to forget to nourish your heart within. Arguably sharing love is its own form of nourishment but we can extend that love by choosing one small thing to give to ourselves each day. What nourishes each of us will be different and one might even say that you have to go with what speaks to your heart, but it is important to find something that nourishes the spirit to effect the true energetics of the heart. For some it may be a daily inspirational quote, for others it may be a simple prayer. For yet others they may find spiritual rejuvenation watching heart warming videos on Facebook while sipping a cup of tea.
Whatever the choice, choose love and choose it often. Follow the path your heart dictates and never question the value of speaking from the heart. On this day of love, find ways to love those around you and ways to love yourself in return. This type of interaction will, without question, transform the world and it can always make gold out of steel. Love is Alchemy.