I found this short article by accident and being drawn by the beautiful image, I paused to read. The words “opposite of love is power“ really made me sit up and think. I’d thought the opposite of love was fear, now a new adjective – (power-ful). This reminds me of the quote from The Master of Sacred Knowledge by Allan Rufus, who says: “Note and Quote to Self – What you think, say and do! Your life mainly consists of 3 things!
What you think,
What you say and
What you do!”
and remember thoughts are powerful too.
“As we see more deeply into our inner drives and defenses, we discover that the choices we are faced with aren’t all black and white. Life teaches us that our decisions aren’t necessarily based on “this” or “that.” We come to understand the truth of “both/and.”
The assumption that things are either good or bad, true or false, that I’m either happy or miserable, lovable or hateful, has been replaced by astonishing new facts: I both want to be good but my efforts can have bad effects; there’s falsehood mixed in with my truth; I want and don’t want whatever is my current desire; and I can both love and hate another person at the same time.
What about the two primary human drives, love and power? I used to think the opposite of love was hate. But life experience tells me that’s not true. Hate is so tinged with other emotions, including love! No. In my understanding, the opposite of love is power-ful. Love accepts and embraces. Power refuses and crushes opposition. Love is kind and knows how to forgive.”
—Patty De Llosa, “Power and Love.” Parabola Magazine, Spring 2011
Patty de Llosa, author of The Practice of Presence: Five Paths for Daily Life and Taming Your Inner Tyrant: A path to healing through dialogues with oneself, is a Tai Chi and Alexander teacher who lives and practices in New York City. She has studied many spiritual teachings while she made her living as a mainstream journalist at Time, Leisure and Fortune and raised a family.
Also by Patty De Llosa,
Happiness or Wisdom?
We all want to be happy. Is that wise? Perhaps it only works the other way around: those who become wise find happiness. The Buddha explained that what makes us feel miserable is the hankering and dejection to which we are continually subject. We hanker after what we desire, and become dejected because life doesn’t offer up what we want.
Does it take a lifetime to find the wisdom to accept what we’ve got? Not necessarily. The minute some of what we had is taken away we begin to appreciate it! Then, oh then, how we remember the Good Old Days!
Then there’s the opposite message, the folk wisdom that your reach should exceed your grasp. How to bring these opposites together? In my opinion, the solution lies in practice and, above all, work. If you aim both body and mind at what you want and work hard for it, your feet tend to stay on the ground and, hopefully, your head this side of the clouds. So inner and outer work are part of real wisdom, expressed in Madison Avenue’s adage that there’s no free lunch.