Let Love be our Guide

Love 2.0 - Barabra Fredrickson

The time to talk Love, to think Love, to show Love, to give Love, to receive Love, to acknowledge and appreciate Love is just as essential in the world as 2013 approaches as it has always been.  Love is the greatest universal positive attribute.

As a species, we need Love.  The universal human story is about Love winning. When Love is unavailable, lost or destroyed we feel the pain and the despair, as individuals and as collectives.  The context changes over time, but the story of needing Love to triumph is unchanging.

And you might want to interchange “Love” with “Goodness”, “Kindness”, “Generosity”,”Caring” – virtues that pervade history irrespective of culture, religion, politics and the myriad of organizational constructs.

Power of Language

We can talk ourselves into Love, since we have the capacity to talk ourselves into anything.  The power of language in shaping our lives, our relationships, our cultures and organizations is key to shaping our present and future.  The question is:  What do we put our attention to.  What do we focus on?  What stories do we tell?  What narratives do we construct?

A personal story to illustrate.

Recently, my sister in Australia had a milestone birthday.  I had planned to take a three week vacation around that time so I could be part of a big party she was arranging to celebrate.  My work and some personal matters at her end (she broke her ankle) got in the way and I decided to postpone the trip.  We were both disappointed and she especially.

When I dug deep inside, I realized there was a fear that was holding me back.  Fear of being away from work for so long, fear of not having such a great time because of her broken ankle and a lot of other stuff that I was telling myself.  I started to realize I was thinking from Fear instead of Love.  I knew I wanted to be with her.  I knew how important it was to her that I was there to celebrate with family and friends.  I shifted my being from Fear to Love and a whole new energy (and solution) opened up.  I could go for one week only and make her birthday the sole purpose of my visit rather than a detour in a bigger trip.  I decided to not tell her I was coming.  (FYI I live in the USA.)

When I walked into her kitchen two days before her birthday and saw the joy, the delight, and the happiness on her face,  I  was overcome with gratitude that I had let Fear go and let Love be my guide.

Words Create Worlds

How we construct our world so that it's meaningful to us is influenced by the stories we tell ourselves or the narratives we construct, and that's dependent on the language we use and the relationships we keep.  In Appreciative Inquiry, we call that the Constructionist Principle.  Words create worlds.  Meaning is made in relationship with each other.

We have the capacity to shape our world through language, whether is it spoken or thought. That's why the expression “When you believe it, you see it” is so powerful.

When you believe in goodness and love, you notice it, you feel it, you see it, you make it happen.

When you believe in evil and fear, the same applies.

So we need to ask ourselves, what do we want to believe more? Another way of saying this is “Where the attention goes, energy follows.” In a nutshell, the more we experience Love, the less we experience Fear. It starts as a baby, but is never too late to reawaken to such salvation.

To learn more about the Appreciative Inquiry Principles and the power of language and stories to shape our destinies,  download the app Appreciative Inquiry – an Introduction, available on iPhone and Android.

As you approach 2013, what Fear might you let go of to let Love be your guide?