Love is the most radical commitment that we can undertake towards one another as individuals and communities. As is the case with all that is most beautiful and yet most disruptive in this world, we keep relegating it to a safe realm where we are not threatened by its power.
One way we do this with love is to conceive of love as an emotion.
It is radically not so.
Love is not a feeling, not a sentiment.
Love is not an emotion.
Love, above all, is a verb.
Love is the radical commitment when we step beyond our own fictitious notion of a bounded, cut off ego-self, and come to see ourselves as already connected with one another.
Love is the radical act of realizing that I cannot be who I ought to be without you being who you ought to be.
Real love involves sacrifice.
Love is radical action, to move forward together to a ground where your happiness and fulfillment is bound up with mine.
Ultimately, love is the action of all the heart, all the soul, and all the might where the “you” and the “I” dissolve away into a more beautifully integrated we.
This is true for individuals, and it is true for communities.
It is true for a loving couple, and it is true for us as a human community.
It is as the incomparable Rumi says:
You and I
have to live
as if you and I
have never heard
of a “you”
and an “I.”
Love is a fire that cooks what’s raw in each and every one of us, leaving behind what’s divine.
Love is the willful embrace of that fire.
Love is a doing, in each breath, in every moment, here and now.
That radical commitment of love (‘ishq) is in fact nothing shy of divinity. By embracing that divine love we burn away all obstacles that block the flow of that divine love. We merge with that cosmic channel of love that brought us here, sustains us, connects us with every sentient being, and will ultimately delivers home.
In doing love, our task is not to exert ourselves to “feel” love for one another, but merely to burn….to burn away the ego, the selfishness, so that we come to see all of us already connected in a divine embrace.