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All You Need is Love

It’s hard to fight cynicism. No matter how hard you try to stay positive, bad things will always happen. This is a fact of life that we are often unwilling to approach, our focus gearing so greatly on the battle against darkness that we entirely forget about its imminence.

As I pointed out in my last blog, winter is coming (shout out to all you Game of Thrones fans out there). Winter tends to be that magical season where that cynicism and destitution rise to their peak. We don’t want to leave our homes, go out into the weather, or even connect with our fellow humans by any means other than text or email. God forbid that we would think about exercising or any other form of physical activity. Even yoga can seem to be a bit of a “stretch” for our weary spirits.

A friend of mine and I had a conversation about sadness, depression, and love the other day. I was feeling particularly cynical, having gone through a few long days without much rest. The concept of love is a common subject matter between us, and so we began chatting about how love actually changes the perception, creating a new invitation of energies into your life.

“You don’t even really need to be happy to give love to another,” he said. “That’s a common misconception. People believe that in order to love, we must be happy and healthy, when in reality, it’s the other way around. Happiness comes from the act of loving, and when you demonstrate love and compassion in your daily life, the same will be returned to you. That’s a step in the right direction.”

I was really moved by his words. I always thought that in order to love, you needed to feel joy within yourself. Though it is true that loving yourself is important, it’s the act of giving compassion to the world around you that establishes the basis of true happiness. What better feeling is there that the sensation you get after a stranger thanks you for helping them up or receiving a hug from a good friend in a time of need?

I have been making love a personal practice. It’s been my recent mission to see the good things around me, to extend a little helping hand to those who need me, and to take my time to enjoy the love and support of my favorite people. My past year has been a little rough, so there’s no time like the present to work with what I’d been through and move forward with compassion.

The results have been wonderful. Not only have I seen a difference in how people have treated me, but I’ve felt an elevation in my spirit. I guess that’s what John Lennon really meant when he said, “All you need is love.” The attitude of compassion ultimately leads to great strength, a doorway to a world that greets you with endless combinations in endless possibilities. Love is the beginning of the doorway and what ultimately greets us at the end. I think that’s a pretty great way to live, don’t you?

Let’s be real; you can’t always choose your thoughts. When sorrow or tragedy strike, you can reel so hard from it that it is neither possible nor realistic to disregard how you really feel. Things aren’t always going to be peachy and negatives don’t become positives in the blink of an eye, so allow the sadness and the cynicism, but in the long run, remember to leave some room for love. In time, the gift of love to others will you return to you in miraculous ways.

Happy Winter, dear friends! Let’s make it a good one!

Contributing author: Lauren Messervey.
Lauren is the social media coordinator for Yoga Tree. An avid Yogi with a love for Tree Pose, she is originally from Atlantic Canada and joined the bustling city of Toronto in June of last year. You may find her in the Midtown region, practicing Yoga or blogging for Yoga Tree. She is currently completing her first novel, set to be released Spring 2014.