I recently had a relaxed Sunday and decided to watch two movies, both of them well-made, entertaining, and totally romantic, but representing very different viewpoints on the power of love: one realistic and one idealistic. I tend toward the realistic. I found the first movie’s message of “with love, nothing is impossible” incredibly inspiring, while the second movie’s message that “love can’t solve everything” was quite idealistic, but ultimately heartbreaking.
Is there a middle ground?
Can hopeless romantics soar on the wings of love while still keeping our feet on the ground?
Someone once told me that love conquers all.
Now how true is that statement?
Can love in your life make any difference in your relationships with others?
Let’s look at the definition of love first.
Love is the tenderness that we feel for somebody; the genuine concern about their welfare; and the desire for them to succeed and be happy. Love puts self out of sight, and hopes and desires of the loved subject even at the expense of the lover.
Most misunderstandings which may occur between two people in any relationship are due to selfishness and lack of consideration. The desire to get what one wants notwithstanding the other person’s wishes is often what drives a wedge between friends, acquaintances and colleagues.
The truth is that if you love someone, you are all out to pleasing them, and their happiness is what you are most concerned about. You are more than willing to give up personal preferences to humor them.
There are many situations where love has conquered and can conquer, people have sung about it, people have written about it. This song, Love is the Answer, is a good example of written lyrics:
Broken hearts everywhere
From stepping on love we don’t care
Somebody tell me what we gonna do
Even though it’s plenty to share
People hungry in the streets life just ain’t fair
But you never think about it until it’s you
Now I’m gonna say how I feel
And what I wanna say is love is the only thing that’s real
Now I’m gonna tell you what to do
Just believe that love is the only thing we have that’s true
Love is the answer
Love is the answer
Can we function without love?
In Dr. Robert Holden’s latest book, Loveability, he details the root of basically all human problems—the fear of not being loveable. This fear shows up as not being enough (e.g., good enough, educated enough, attractive enough, smart enough, etc.), needing to be perfect, self-sacrificing, outstanding or remarkable, always happy, always melancholic (to get attention), independent, rebellious, a genius, or a peace-maker.
Regardless of how anyone’s fear of being unloveable manifests itself, it’s not our Truth but instead comes from ego. And it’s ego’s job to provide protection and cover for that fear. Sometimes, that protection translates into preemptive strikes that turn into unkindness and even violence toward others.
Let’s consider some scenarios and attempt to step into the shoes of the perpetrator of unkindness. What fear do you think they could be harboring, even if unknowingly?
- An intimidating colleague/client who seems to have you in the defensive right from the start—Is it at all possible that, if they didn’t strike preemptively to keep you in the defensive, they themselves might be vulnerable to being attacked? It’s irrelevant whether you’d actually attack them; it’s their fear that you might.
- A non-responsive or inconsistent friend who’s unnervingly hot and cold—Is it at all possible that they worried, if they let you get too close to them, you’d see how flawed and unloveable they are? But they don’t want you to abandon them altogether, so they pour on the charm or become super-helpful when they sense you pulling away.
- A critical boss/parent who’s impossible to please and who seems incapable of offering words of affirmation or praise—Is it possible that they were never praised, and feared at their core that they’re worthless? Not only was the behavior of encouragement and praise never modeled for them, if they could keep the bar always beyond your reach, you’d never get “there” to see how scared they are that you’ll see how worthless they feel.
Love conquers all things. If the world showed only a little love, just a little more love, we could solve nearly all our problems. No one would have more than the other, because we would all share. No one would despise each other because we would all love each other. No one would insist on his or her own way, because we would all put the other first. No one would war against the other, because we would not want to hurt anyone.
I believe love conquers all things, and no one would really understand it unless they had the opportunity to fall in love and live in love.
So is love the answer, can love conquer all?