Key Takeaway: Love is the basis and the key to living a truly good life. It is the lifeblood of awareness, the driving force of service, and the guide and shape of purpose. Without love, purpose rooted in awareness and service is useless and absurd. It’s all about true love, and a balanced love at that.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NABRE)
Love is the basis of everything in a truly purposeful life.
Tomorrow, we will be celebrating Christmas Day – the Feast of the Nativity, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christmas is the apex of God’s love – a love that is such that he sent his only begotten Son to the world to die for our sins, that we may be saved.
Christmas – and indeed, all of Christianity itself – therefore, is based on one thing only, and that is love. Love is what led God to not just create us but give us dominion over all of creation (as well as the responsibility to use it well), and to initiate a relationship with us. Love is what leads God to keep on calling out to and forgiving us, even if we are wayward in our ways and never learn from our mistakes. Love is what led God to come down to earth, assuming the form of his creation, to walk with us and build the bridge to eternal life.
Love is what leads God to show his mercy. And we are called to live a life of love, too.
(Read: To love is to show mercy)
Love is the lifeblood of awareness towards yourself, towards others, towards society, towards nature, and even towards things. Awareness without love is absurd, because true awareness isn’t just limited to mere consciousness – it also acts in light of said awareness. And this means being compassionate and showing it: an act of love.
Love is the driving force behind the spirit of service, because why else would you truly serve? Serving only because you have to, because you have no choice, is not true service because your heart is not into it. But serving because you want to, because you are inspired by the examples of the great servants (and servant-leaders) before you – Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Muhammad Yunus, Malala Yousefzai, and all the other unsung heroes of the world – because you are aware of others and would like to do something for them, now that is love.
Love guides and shapes your higher purpose, which itself is rooted in awareness and service. Purpose can be – and in many cases is – misguided, and this is due to a lack of (or an excess, even!) of love. Instructed by love, however, it is possible to live your true higher purpose for good (literally and figuratively). Once again, it’s all about moderation and balance.
Purpose rooted in awareness and service is inseparable from love, for without love, the entire thing makes no sense. I may say I have a duty to my God – but is this because I simply dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, or is this because I want to respond to his gift of eternal love and life? The latter in itself constitutes an act of love on my part already.
To live a truly good life, therefore, we are invited to be fountains overflowing with love – keeping the balance of love in our lives right, without being too selfish or too selfless. A fountain both keeps and spews out water – and so it is with love. Love should be the blood of our existence – and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the color of love is red, the color of blood.
This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of love, let us too remember to love, and to live lives of true love.
Merry Christmas, everyone!