“I would define love very simply: as a potent blend of openness
and warmth, which allows us to make real contact, to take delight in and
appreciate, and to be at one with – ourselves, others, and life itself. Openness – the heart’s pure,
unconditional yes – is love’s essence.
And warmth is love’s basic expression, arising as a natural
extension of this yes – the desire to reach out and touch, connect with, and
nourish what we love. If love’s openness is like the clear, cloudless sky, its
warmth is like the sunlight streaming through the sky, emitting a rainbowlike
spectrum of colors: passion, joy, contact, communication, kindness, caring,
understanding, service, dedication, and devotion, to name just a few.
According to the saints and
mystics, love is the very fabric of what we are; we are fashioned out of its
warmth and openness. We don’t have to be great sages to recognize this. All
we need to do is take an honest look at what makes our life worthwhile. When
the presence of love is alive and moving
in us, there is no doubt that our life
is on target and meaningful, regardless of our outer circumstances. We feel
that we’re in touch, connected with something larger than our
small self. This lifts the burden of isolation and alienation off our
shoulders, filling us with peace and well-being. But when the presence of love
is absent, something often feels sad, not quite right; something seems to be
missing, and it’s hard to find much joy, even in the midst of favorable
circumstances. We easily fall prey to meaninglessness, anxiety, or despair.
These simple truths are
also upheld by neuroscience research, which confirms that our
connections with others affect the healthy development and functioning of the
brain, the endocrine and immune systems, and our emotional balance. In short, love is the central force that holds our
whole life together and allows it to function. …"
John Welwood. "Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships. Healing the Wound of
the Heart." Trumpeter, 2006.