“Where you are, and whatever you do, be in love.” -Rumi
In fairy tales, the only power stronger than evil is true love. I believe that love is our greatest survival instinct; more powerful than war or climate change, racism, or greed. When true love is guiding our choices and behaviors, we can become ferocious and caring simultaneously. We can see paths forward that in any other frame of mind are hidden from us. But it can hurt. Coming from a place of love ignites our empathy and the pain of the world can be overwhelming.
What does this have to do with money? In our culture, we have been taught to separate love from money, or use money as a stand-in when love is lacking. We have been taught to make financial decisions from a pretense of intellect, acting as if our emotions are not actually running the show. Love cuts through other emotions. It gives us an immovable center where choices are clearer, and self-discipline becomes easier or even unnecessary.
What would you do differently in your life if love guided your financial choices? I have had clients redesign their lives when such deep alignment began to happen. For some, this meant downsizing their wealthy lifestyles so they could give more time and money to what they love in the world; human justice, the beautiful planet, happy children, or moving artwork. For many, it meant stretching a little to have a house large enough for all the children and grandchildren to visit at the holidays. It might be the trade-off to work a bit later in life in order to get the most out of travel now. It could mean leaving a successful job to care for aging parents.
I encourage my clients to interact with the love that animates their activism on a regular basis. If your passion is ending hunger, perhaps gardening and gifting your produce would help your heart focus on the love of feeding people. Or if climate change is what moves you, getting out in nature and loving the beauty that is still with us may help you stay actively engaged without losing the connection that nurtures you.
Heartbreak is the risk of centering ourselves in love. But the other option is heartlessness, and that is no way to manage money, no way to interact with others, and no way to live.