If someone asked you at this moment “are you a hateful person?”, what would your answer be? I’m thinking that most of us would state emphatically NO. But does a lack of hate necessarily make us loving?
Most of us believe wholeheartedly that our lives embody love… but is this really true? We don’t hate, but do we truly encompass love for all beings and our self? And are our actions truly reflective of our lives and our beliefs? Most of us have probably been confused about love at some time in our life… questioning if the emotion that is invoked in us is love and wondering about the many different types of love – romantic, spiritual, unconditional, self, devotional and the list goes on… Maybe our confusion stems from a lack of understanding. An unwillingness to move from beyond the confines of our mind and step into another’s figurative shoes.
If you are standing in line waiting to cash your groceries and someone asked you for $5 because they were short, would you give it to them? I’m sure most of you would say “sure, no big deal”. Would your answer change if you glanced in their shopping basket and saw two beers among their groceries? Be honest… now it becomes a question of “Why is she buying beers? Why doesn’t he have his priorities in check?” But why should your answer vary depending on the result? If we are being truly loving, do we need to know the use of the $5, or can we give with love, without judgement. My personal view is to give, to share, to love without attachment.
Similar to yoga, I believe that love is a form of sadhana… that daily practice requiring your utmost devotion and effort. Integrating constant and consistent actions and attitudes, which remove the mean, the criticism, the judgement from our lives; and replace them with kindness, gratitude, praise and offering the best that you can be to yourself and others. And if our only demonstration of love is an absence of hate, then maybe we need to check ourselves.