Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu
What does that mean?
To me, his quote talks of the two faces of love. Love can be out-going (love from you to another person) and love can be inbound (love from another person to you). Each of these types of love have their own characteristics, and each of them smile on us in a different manner.
In the case of love inbound, it gives you strength. You know some one loves you, and you are able to handle tougher situations, be more energetic in your life and move the unmovable. This is because with this love, all things are possible.
In the case of love out-going, it gives you courage. You know your love for someone will sustain you and can help you face danger, deal with threatening situations, and sustain yourself against impossible odds. This is because with this love, you are emboldened and confident.
Why is loving and being loved important?
In the context of this quote, we’re talking about how love impacts you, and how that is important in our lives. For this quote, we’ll discuss the out-going love and the inbound love separately. In each case, it seems that our belief(s) in ourselves change with the support of love.
The inbound love, the love you receive from others, provides us with the support we need to be strong. With the loving support of others, we are buoyed, and believe we can do (almost) anything.
The out-going love, the love you give to others, provides us with the reason we need to be brave and courageous. With the love for others in our hearts, we are more prepared to sacrifice so that they won’t have to suffer.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Let’s start with the people who love you. This can be romantic love, familial love or any other kind of love. It doesn’t have to be the most intense love ever, it can be a candle flame rather than a bonfire. Grab some paper and make a list of a few of them right now. Remember, you can always run this exercise in a few months from now, as your situation changes.
Now lets leave a little space and write down a list of people you love. This list may well include many of the people from the other list. As before, it can be romantic, familial or other kinds of love, and can be of any level of intensity. For each of the people listed in both lists, add a few words to describe the type of love and it’s intensity.
Also realize that many people ignore unrequited love. If you’re familiar with many of the older stories and quite a large number of poems, it is a very powerful force (at least in the stories and poems). Just be sure that you don’t go all crazy-stalker about it. That’s not love, that’s creepy.
Take a moment and consider each person on the first part of the list. How does their love for you support you and help you be strong? Are there any particular situations where this is more obvious or more appropriate? Jot down a few words about this next to each person.
Now do the same for the second half of the list. How does your love for them give you the ability to be brave and courageous? When is this feeling the strongest? When are the situations where it is the most obvious or appropriate? Jot down a few words about this next to each person.
Now comes the more interesting question. Have you ever shared these feelings with the people on your list? In most cases, I hadn’t, and that was a bit of a shock. Guess what’s on my list of things to do this weekend? I’ll be making lots of phone calls to family and friends, how about you?
Normally in the posts, we spend some time discussing how to make whatever the topic is better, stronger, more common or whatever. We can’t make others love us more, but we can work on loving others more. The other thing we can do is work on increasing the intensity of our strength and courage. However, there is always the creepy factor, so be careful not to go all psycho on us, OK?
Note that we have only covered the feelings of love we have for other people. Consider taking some time and exploring what ideals you love. Do the second half of the exercise again for the ideals, and consider what they mean to you, and how these feelings help you feel brave and courageous.
Love is one of the most powerful forces on this planet. Understand it, harness it and build on it. Love with honesty and integrity, and provide the world with your example.
From: Twitter, @tonyrobbins
confirmed (with a minor variation) at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/laotzu101043.html
Photo (cropped) by Aztlek