Over the years I have developed a slightly different vocabulary. I have looked at a lot of the standard words used in spiritual reference and have chosen to use them in a slightly different manner. Sometimes I have put more clear definitions on words; sometimes I do not use a particular word at all. Today we hear about the word love.
Love and Acceptance
Those who have been reading my writings know about my preference to not use the word love. For those of you who are new to this idea – I hope you find the discussion interesting.
I choose not to use the word love because it tends to be too ambiguous. It seems that everyone has their own definition of what the word “love” means. Because of this, one has a very difficult time defining and discussing what is meant by this word. We wrote about this in a previous column.
Over the years I have come to use the word “acceptance” rather than the word love. For me, I find this to be a much easier concept to describe. It is also a much more concrete goal. When I say that I strive to accept everyone in my life it is much easier for me to understand that goal.
As we look at the idea of acceptance, we get into a discussion of agreeing with what we accept. Agreement and acceptance are two different things, which we also heard about in another previous column. Acceptance means that we acknowledge what we understand as the reality of the situation. We don’t have to like the situation – we just have to accept it.
More recently, I have been using the term unconditional love. In my humble opinion, this also describes the concept of love more exactly. By adding that one word – “unconditional” – we are clearly defining the concept of acceptance.
Unconditional love means that we are accepting each other as we are. We are saying that I accept you without any judgment. I accept you for who you are at this moment – not who or what I think you should be.
It’s not easy
Most people define themselves as loving people. Even people who commit crimes of murder or political oppression see themselves as acting out of love for the people whom they love. A dictator decides to kill thousands of people who are “enemies of the state” because they love the rest of the people who are not enemies of the state.
I find it is much more difficult to be accepting and practice unconditional love. It is much easier to marginalize someone who is not like me and only accept those that are like me. This is why I do not use the word love – I challenge myself to love unconditionally by using the terms “accept” and “unconditional love”.
So now, I challenge you to do the same. Redefine your concept of “love” by always using the either the words “acceptance” or “unconditional love”. In time you will learn a lot more about “love” than you ever thought was possible.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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