Love is all you need
Lately I’ve been thinking about love, so the Beatles, Carl Rogers and the Bible have been on my mind. Why these three?
For the July 1967 global television broadcast Our World, the Beatles were asked to sing a song containing a message the whole world would understand. They performed ‘All You Need Is Love’.
According to Wikipedia, Our World was seen by more than 400 million people in 25 countries. Everyone got the Beatles' message. The song was released later that month, became an anthem for the flower power movement and still features as a favourite of many fifty years later.
The words can seem simplistic. Yes, I need love, but I also need food. A bed. A book to read. Coffee.
But deep down I know that even if I have plenty of food, a comfy bed, a gripping book and a steaming coffee, but I don’t have love, I’m going to feel empty.
Carl Rogers, one of the founders of the humanist approach in psychology, came up with a term that succinctly sums up what love is. He called it:
unconditional positive regard
Rogers believed it was important for him to accept his clients as they were, without judgement or a feeling of superiority. He wanted to understand the real person behind the words they said. When his clients sensed his acceptance, they found the power to change themselves. Rogers knew it worked because he’d seen this principle at work in himself:
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
Unconditional positive regard is love.
All we need is unconditional positive regard from others. Then we can change ourselves.
All others need from us is unconditional positive regard. Then they can change themselves.
It can seem simplistic, but it’s a starting point.
The Oxford Dictionary (and possibly Hollywood) describes love as:
an intense feeling of deep affection
But the Bible goes further. In I Corinthians 13, love isn’t described as a feeling. Love is an action. Love does things:
· Love is patient, kind, never gives up, endures things.
· Love doesn’t demand, accuse, judge or reject.
· Love never fails.
· Love is the greatest and most powerful thing on earth.
Love is action. Love is unconditional positive regard with boots on. It’s all we need.
A little bit of love can change you and me, and the world.
The link below is a performance of the song ‘All You Need Is Love’ at Buckingham Palace Garden, London, England, in 2002. It features Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton and Rod Steward, with a cameo appearance by Tony Bennett.
This song is a reminder that all we need is love. Then we can grow.
Whether we’re rich or poor, sick or well, confused or clear-headed, young or old, in hottest Africa or the frozen north, we need love.
As Marianne Williamson wrote in A Return to Love:
We are all part of a vast sea of love, one indivisible divine mind.
All we need is love.
Let it flow.
With love, Marlane