I was born on the same day John Lennon was shot in 1980.
Exactly 12 minutes and a couple thousand miles away from his spirit, mine came into the world.
My mother had an incredible love for the Beatles, and especially John, and the combination of this synchronicity with her appreciation for all they created have led me to a lifelong sense of connection to the messages he spread.
However, laying in the tub the other night with a few extra minutes for deep rumination (I do ma best thinkin' while soaking or walking..), I started to think about the idea that 'love is all you need', first applied within my own relationship and then extended into the functioning of an individual within the world.
I, like many others, have long believed in this idea. I place great faith in the knowing that love is the essential fabric of this entire existence, and that we are all, at the core, great magnificent beings sent here to learn how to love and expand our awareness of what that means.
But the sheer simplicity of this statement, however ultimately true it may be in philosophical terms, negates so much else that we need in this human life to GET to love that I started to become rather irritated with the thought of it.
Much like I can't stand pithy affirmations like 'you create your reality' or 'everything happens for a reason' that are offered in a stand-alone manner as if they could somehow get an individual to that understanding just by saying them, telling yourself that 'love is all you need' over and over a million times is never, ever going to result in you having a conscious, expansive relationship with either yourself or your partner or whomever else. It's just not enough, and it betrays the truth of the process, which is, in essence, that it's way more complicated than that.
What else do we need than love?
Well, in speaking of interpersonal relationships, we need self awareness. Without self awareness we can delude ourselves into thinking that our particular 'form' of love (which may be narcissistic, deluded, damaged or otherwise dysfunctional in nature, but how could we know if we don't explore and understand ourselves?) is universal or infinite love, and assume our work is done. If we have not done the work to come to understand our shadow self, our habitual tendencies and energetic/emotional opportunities for healing then the type of love we can offer will not be enough, but we will not know any better.
We need ego strength, and an abiding ability to deal with stress. Yes, love is the essential framework of all that exists, but we don't get to play on that level all the time. Just because we CAME from love and will go BACK to love doesn't mean we get to live there on this dimension. That's not the point. The point here, as I often say, is to be messy and a bit or a lot fucked up, and to engage wholeheartedly in the process of understanding what that fuckedupedness is all about. Trying to tell ourselves that we can just avoid all the stress with a highly convenient little saying that excuses the need to understand darkness is just not going to get us anywhere.
And then we need mindfulness. Like self awareness, a lack of mindfulness will lead us, often, to assume that we know what is going on and how we and other people are experiencing something, but this is never true. We come from wounded, conditioned ego perspectives, and until we train ourselves to see those wounds and those conditions, and to move both our sensory and emotional experience to a higher level of understanding, we will never be capable of the kind of 'love' that might, after all, be all we need.
Because I do really believe that love is everything.
I just don't think we know what real love truly is, and nor are we capable of sustaining it for long periods of time until we have dedicated ourselves to the work of uncovering where we block ourselves from it.
And lastly, what we need the most and what is so often placated by silly little sayings and happy spiritual simplicities is discipline. The dirty D word that every manifestation-loving and reality-creating little love bug within each of us despises, but that is the cornerstone of personal growth, conscious evolution and higher awareness. When we can just say the end goal (these lovely, easy sayings) enough times that we begin to believe it, we are consumed by this idea that maybe we might be one of the special ones who can just 'get it', without all the painful work of truly looking at ourselves.
But this is the reality of this human life, and what we are here to do: it is not supposed to be that easy. There are people who experience spontaneous births of awareness and enlightenment, certainly, and if you want to sit around for the rest of your life waiting for that to happen feel free, but if you're like the other 99.9999999999% of us it's going to take a lot more than a well-planted idea to release you from the burdens of self-doubt, judgement and fear that bind us all.