Love is all around.
It’s February. Can you feel the shift that has occurred as people begin to think about romantic love? Commercials and ads for long-stemmed red roses, chocolates, wines, lingerie and romantic restaurants flood the airwaves. This is the time lovers are planning how they are going to demonstrate to their loved one just how much they are loved on St. Valentine’s Day.
I am all for romantic love, however, there is another more enduring kind of love that I would like to draw your attention to. The Greeks call it Agape, which means the love for everyone, for all of humanity.
Six Kinds of Love
The Greeks actually have six different words for different kinds of love. Of course, we all know about Eros, or sexual passion named after the Greek god of fertility. Next is Philia or the love among good friends. Ludus is playful love, while Pragma is the name for longstanding love and Philautia is the love of the self.
I know all those who are involved in a romantic relationship will be hard pressed to turn their attention to Agape, but if you’re not swept up in romantic love, or have settled into your romantic love let’s celebrate love for all of humanity this month. Can you be loving toward everyone you come into contact with on Valentine’s Day? How about someone with whom you’ve recently argued or butted heads with? Can you soften your heart and show love toward that person? Can you forgive yourself as well as the other? Can you feel your heart soften as you focus your attention on the healing power of love instead of grievances?
Fill Your Heart
Let love for all of life, all of humanity fill your heart to overflowing. And if there is that someone special with whom you can express romantic love, so much more the sweeter. Romantic love does not exclude Agape or the love of humanity. As the saying goes, “Love is all you need.” And it is in the very air we breathe!