What’s “Love” Got to Do With It?
Did you know there’s a body of thought that suggests we have only two ways-of-being – Love or Fear? This holds true whether at work, at home or anywhere. Fear can include hate, despair, cynicism, blame and apathy. Conversely, Love in an organizational context (also called “loving kindness”) has to do with looking past others’ “foibles” and instead seeing them in their essence.
Practically-speaking, these behaviours show up all the time in training programs on Communication Skills, encouraging us to step into others’ shoes. Yet, how many of us fail to do even that? So preoccupied by the conversation inside our own heads, we have almost zero capacity to listen to what others are really saying (or not saying).
Perhaps we ought to take a page from my friend’s book. Never have I met anyone so committed to understanding (and loving) people. Tony is like a dog with a bone. It may take a while, but he chips away at the outer “protective layers” until he’s managed to locate himself in your interior. Not offensively – but gently. His artfulness in looking at the world exactly as you would is second to none. And, it starts with his profound dedication to “get” his colleagues and friends alike.
The Transformational Possibilities
As we stand at the hopeful brink of renewal, authors like Marianne Williamson (The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life) acknowledge life as we knew it is passing away. All of us are part of a much larger process.
Williamson goes farther by asserting the planet’s progress depends upon a quantum leap within each of us. This means deliberately letting go of limiting attitudes and actions (Fear) in our work and personal lives so a much-needed transition toward Love can occur around the globe.
The great news is, we control our own willingness to craft our everyday interactions so they’re based in unconditional Love. With Tony’s to teach us, my optimism grows. Does yours?
The Top Ten List
As usual, I invite you to scour your heart in responding to these thought-provoking questions:
- What attitudes/behaviours do you demonstrate when coming from Love?
- What proportion of your energy is spent in Love versus Fear?
- How conditional versus unconditional is your love?
- With what kinds of people is it easier to extend loving kindness?
- In what situations is it difficult for you to be your loving best?
- How open are you to changing your Fear-based attitudes and/or behaviours?
- What benefits could result from projecting loving energy wherever you go?
- How do you think those “annoying” others might start to react or act differently if you were to practice these new ways of being?
- Ask yourself how you can avoid retreating into disappointment or other emotions when others fail to live up to your expectations.
- What do you think of the idea our human progress depends upon our individual ability to love (rather than be in fear)?
Here’s your stretch exercise. For a period of time you select, extend loving kindness where you go. Up the ante and send the most Love toward those who bug you most! Then decide if you wish to make the ‘experiment’ permanent. If you’d appreciate some inspiration, take your cue from these loving role models:
“People are unreasonable, illogical and self – centered. Love them ANYWAY. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Be good ANYWAY.”(Mother Teresa)
“Along the way in life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.”(Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)