Love Is the Answer to Most Problems
What a big love can do.
Posted July 6, 2021 | Reviewed by Lybi Ma
It is the feminine qualities that bring meaning into life: relatedness to other human beings, the ability to soften power with love, awareness of our inner feelings and values, respect of our earthly environment, a delight in earth’s beauty, and the introspective quest for inner wisdom. With these qualities short-changed, we don’t find much meaning. With our swords and lances we build our empires, but they don’t give us a sense of meaning and purpose. ~ Robert Johnson in We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love
Linda: As college students, my husband and I were hippies in the sixties. Sometimes our generation was referred to as “the flower children.” We were activists whose conversations and demonstrations were ruled by slogans such as: “Make love, not war.” “The personal is the political.” And “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” We were part of an idealistic movement that wanted to change the world. We were young and naive enough to think that we could. Our generation certainly did have an impact on public policy. And we take special pride in the part that our demonstrations and constant pressure on the government made, to bring the Vietnam war to an end. But there are still so many serious challenges demanding to be addressed.
Following graduate school, I developed more humility and scaled down my ambitions. I have attempted to make my little corner of the world more humane and kind. My idealism has lived on in my profession as a psychotherapist, seminar leader, and author. My career has been dedicated to assisting my clients, students, and readers to see their life challenges as a heroic journey. They move through the dark passages of their lives, confronting their difficulties to find a new consciousness. The reward for their struggle is to live with more peace of mind, a sense of wholeness, and a joyful feeling that life is to be celebrated. This newfound sense of self allows them to enjoy more fulfillment in their relationships. And as a result, they can use their surplus energy that was formerly tied up in relationship challenges and address wider concerns.
Since I specialize in treating couples, in the process of their development, one of the important indicators of movement is when both members of the couple learn from each other’s strengths. One clear sign that a woman’s therapy is progressing is when she learns to step into a leadership role, own her power and authority, become more direct in her communication, drawing strong boundaries, and assert her needs and desires. These are examples of the feminine learning from strong qualities of the masculine.
And one clear indication that the men are awakening is when they realize how they have been limited by patriarchal prejudices. They begin to understand what their results orientation towards the pursuit of money, status, power, and has cost them. As they discover how these attitudes drive feminine values out of their lives, they come to recognize the terrible toll that loss has taken on their lives. The shock of understanding prompts motivation to learn from the feminine: relatedness, feelings, tenderness, vulnerability, openness, softness, and love. Men too, come into balance. Consequently, the inner balance that each member of the couple experiences is one of important development that will lead to a harmonious working relationship.
In a present-day song lyric called I Need You by John Baptist, in the chorus, he sings: “In this world with a lot of problems, all we need is a little loving.” In another line sings, “We don’t need another million; you got the goldmine.” I’m in agreement with the songwriter Baptist and the Jungian therapist Robert Johnson. A pervasive appreciation of the feminine values of relatedness and love, which surely is the goldmine, will address the issues of a world full of problems.
It is foolish to be in hope that those in leadership positions will soon make policies that will come from the top down. The situation is too urgent to wait. It’s necessary for those of us who are dedicated to rising in consciousness and are determined to have great relationships to take action. We can participate in grassroots actions in the form of fierce and committed efforts to live with loving-kindness. And I am completely convinced that this big love will benefit more than just particular couples and families. The newfound meaning and purpose are sure to manifest as an abundance of energy to address the world full of problems. It’s a grand vision, I’ll admit. But on the days when I am filled with hope, I see it as possible if we can only work together to make it come true.