It’s Easier To Be Love Than Be Loving

Monday 31 October, 2016

At first glance, the difference between love and loving may not be so clear. The more one reflects, however, the clearer the distinction becomes. Being loving implies action, which in itself implies a decision to act. That decision has two parts: firstly, whether or not to be loving and then how to do it (what does it mean to be loving?) Being love, on the other hand, simplifies the whole process because in love there is no decision. There is no choice. There is only love.

Here is an example which may help to explain:

Years ago, when I still lived in Germany, I was walking through Frankfurt town centre when a homeless man walked towards me. I was on my way home, and he was shuffling through the shopping street, probably on his way to join his band of brothers at the Hauptwache – the epicentre of town, where homeless people would gather and be together. He hadn’t gone too far past me when I heard the sound of a head hitting concrete.

My immediate response was not whether I should turn back and help. It was frustration and annoyance. I felt annoyed because I wanted to get home but I knew I had to help. It felt as though I had no choice. Reluctantly, I turned around, just in time to see other shoppers pass the man by, albeit with concerned looks on their faces. By the time I got there, someone else had also stopped to attend to him, and soon one of the shop assistants came out to help us. An ambulance was called, the man received the care and attention he needed, and the shop assistant kindly offered us coffee at his store and the chance to clean the man’s blood off our hands.

Now, I’m far from being the saintly, all-loving being I know I could be, and I was certainly not dwelling in a blissful state when the man fell over. The story is merely an example of there being no choice. In certain situations it is immediately clear what has to be done, and there is something inside each of us which instinctively knows. That is a hallmark of love.

Being loving is a pathway to love; a means to an end; something to practise. Every time you are loving, you touch love, and for a moment you catch a glimpse of what it would feel like to dwell completely in love. To be only love. The purest form of existence. The more we practise being loving, the easier it becomes, until one day we find that we are no longer loving, we simply are love.


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