I saw a quote from someone recently asserting that the people saying we need more love have it wrong. They said we need more justice, action, inclusion. I understand where they’re coming from, however, I disagree because I think their definition of love is to narrow.
If you define love as the squishy puppy dog love of preteen angst movies, then I agree. However, I understand love in a different way. Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore wrote in Revealing Word:
love–The pure essence of Being that binds together the whole human family. Of all the attributes of God, love is undoubtedly the most beautiful. In Divine Mind, love is the power that joins and binds in divine harmony the universe and everything in it; the great harmonizing principle known to man(kind).
Divine love is impersonal; it loves for the sake of loving. It is not concerned with what or who it loves, nor with a return of love. Like the sun, its joy is in the shining forth of its nature.
If we see love as the harmonizing power of the universe, as the glue that connects us all, then, I argue, that activating our love is the most productive thing we can do.
Yesterday I was watching Kung Fu Panda 2 with my husband because he loves Kung Fu Panda and he was recovering from a cold. In the movie, the head henchwolf upon first seeing Po (the Panda) he says he’s so soft and cuddly looking. Then Po and the Furious 5 lay down some Kung Fu and defeat the pack of wolves.
Po is a good example of how we can take love to the next level. In our day to day life, we’re interacting with those close to us, going about our business, some may call it soft and relaxed. But when there is injustice or harm happening, Po leaps into action to fiercely defend and protect.
This is the part that we need more of, fierce love. Fierce in the common vernacular means an intense or heartfelt, it can be used negatively, but it can also be an unapologetic focus.
When we stand up to challenge the status quo, it is often out of this fierce love. When Cari Lightner was killed by a drunk driver in 1980, her mom Candice didn’t just grieve, she started advocating for a change in laws and Mothers Against Drunk Driving was born. Not only did she love her daughter, her goal was to not have any more mothers have to experience what she went through. That’s fierce love, big enough to know that she could stand up and push for a something that wouldn’t change her story but could change countless others who may not even know her name.
The person who said we didn’t need more love and instead need justice and action I think is missing something, because what is the motivation for these things? A sense of morality or doing what’s right you might say. How do we know what is right?
Researchers have been able to show compassion as an inherent trait in toddlers. Fairness and helping someone who is hurt or drops something is hard-wired. How does a toddler know that we are all bound together in the universal principle of love? Maybe the question should be how have so many grown-ups forgotten?
Fierce love isn’t about doing the things that are easy, they are easy and hopefully we’re doing those already. Fierce love is about doing the hard things because they are what needs to be done.
Last week comedian Sarah Silverman made headlines for her response to a man who had called her a slur on twitter. Instead of ignoring him or saying something mean in return, she went to his twitter feed and saw that he seemed to struggle with a lot of pain. Then she reached out to him, acknowledging his pain and asking what he might need to feel better. When he shared that he couldn’t get the medical treatment he needed, she tweeted out to her followers for leads to get him some help. Folks responded with offers of support.
She realized that he was speaking from his pain, and decided to respond with compassion. Fierce love is just that, seeing the human who needs compassion beyond the smokescreen of hurt they throw up.
Fierce love means showing up when its hard, inconvenient, or cold. It means being willing to listen to the stories that are hard to hear and then asking how you can help to resolve the situation.
Certainly, we cannot passionately support every cause, but we can do something, and something meaningful is what we are called to. Mother Teresa famously said: “Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa wasn’t talking about puppy love, she was talking fierce, compassionate, unwavering love.
I challenge you to step into the places where it’s hard, where it’s uncomfortable, where the need is greatest. Show up as love, as someone who truly believes that we are all expressions of the harmonizing power of the universe and as such will work for our earthly situations to reflect it.
With great love,