“I’m not interested in being a ‘lover.’ I’m interested in only being love.” – Ram Dass
How can you be love? It’s an interesting question, probably not one most people ever consider. Yet the idea that you can embody love in everything you do is quite appealing. Akin to saintliness, perhaps, or what we imagine holy people do. But not us, right, surely not everyday people just trying to get along in life?
Not so fast. This isn’t a concept to dismiss out of hand. Think for a minute about doing the right thing, helping others instead of yourself all the time, going for the greater good in life and not striving for an accumulation of wealth and things. These are components of being love, although they only begin to touch at it. The truth is that love has no limits, so being love, in turn, means that there are no hard edges of love that you can point to, nothing that says love stops here and is no more.
Getting back to the hard-to-grapple-with idea of being love, what can any person do to nourish that outlook on life and help it flourish? Here are a few suggestions.
Think before you act.
Envision the consequences — good or bad — of everything you do before you do it. See 10 years down the road and try to imagine the ramifications of your actions. If your intent is to make a difference in the world, to give of yourself, you will either modify your approach, discard it, or move ahead with your plan. The point is that you consciously decide to do good. Choose your thoughts and actions. This helps you in your quest to be love.
See the good in everything and everyone.
This isn’t at all easy to do. There’s a lot of bad in the world and some horrendously evil individuals causing great pain to others. Think of the good vs. evil balance and see where good triumphs over evil. Surround yourself with those friends, co-workers, family members and loved ones who try to do the right thing. If you look for good you will find it. And the more good that you see, the more you’re inspired to demonstrate love yourself.
Practice makes it easier.
Instead of thinking how to be love, just focus on goodness. There’s a similarity between love and goodness that’s undeniable. Indeed, you can’t have love without goodness, although you can be good without being love. Still, making your life about doing good and being good is a healthy step toward being love. The more you do this, the easier it will be. The idea is to get to the point where you don’t have to think about it and just do it — goodness, that is, which will transform into being love at some point.
There’s always a second chance.
Maybe you think you only have one opportunity to get it right, to figure out how to live a right-side life, to be love. You’d be wrong. Just as most religions espouse the notion of forgiveness for sins and the ability to remake your life into something better, you always have the beacon of a second chance. Many of us have felt pain, endured suffering, gone through difficult times of great emotional turmoil. It wasn’t good and it certainly wasn’t easy. But that doesn’t mean the rest of our lives will be characterized by such negativity and misery. We can choose to live differently, to strive for good, self-improvement, helping others, and finding and being love.
In the end, each person makes a conscious choice how he or she will live their life. It’s also never too late to make a new beginning. Striving to be the best version of ourselves is the motivating force behind being love.