Day 6 – One Teaching – Finding Purpose in Love

Yesterday we let Mumford & Sons take us through a hero’s journey to align our bodies, hearts, and minds and to awaken our souls.  Toward the end of the song there is a realization that,

In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
And where you invest your love, you invest your life

It has been said that we are souls living a human experience.*  Some of us are aware of our purpose here on earth, while others struggle to find it.  As the song goes, “where you invest your love, you invest your life,” or in other words, your purpose.  This can be intentional, conscious, and directed for those who feel called to their passions.  But for a larger number of us it might not be so clear, even though we pour our love into things that are all around us.

In his book The Art of Loving written in the mid 1950s, psychoanalyst and philosopher Eric Fromm offers a practical look at the nature of love.  He suggests that love is “primarily giving, not receiving.”  He further elaborates that in addition to giving, there are four other elements common to love of all forms.  They include care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge.  As someone who tends to be a purpose seeker, this new perspective on love shifted some things for me.

Love does not have to be a drunken feeling of carefree bliss.  As a man who grew up in the 80s, that state of being does not seem to fit together with the strong, confident, and macho role models I had.  But if love means responsibility, caring, respect and knowledge, that’s different.  A strong man can and should seek these values!

When we find ourselves searching for purpose in these bodies, we can simply look at the things we care about most.  What do we take responsibility for?  How do we show respect?  In what areas of our lives do we choose to increase our knowledge?  Perhaps when we look more closely at the answers to these questions, purpose becomes more clear.

* “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

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