"There must be a higher love/Without it life is wasted time." Those are the opening words to one of my favorite Steve Winwood songs. What could a higher love mean in your life - in the life of your clients? Often, during a speaking engagement, I include a potent and important word that has people flinch -- "Love." They try to manage their flinching by adjusting their seats so that their neighbor or I won't notice. But, however subtle the movement, there it is. I'm not sure what all that flinching is about, but it makes me smile and piques my curiosity. I've always been interested in what we are afraid of when it comes to love -- be it love of self or other. Certainly it is what we all desire, right? Now I'm talking real brotherly/sisterly love --universal love --not that acting like you care, "has a nice day" kind of sentimental formality. Why does the act of sharing love beyond the parameters of family and friends make us shift in our seats? Is it that we don't believe in it? Don't know how to attain it? Bringing a higher love to coaching and any other relationship for me means letting it all go. All those wonderful mechanics we put in place to make us feel safe have to go. "Letting go" means taking off the armor and putting down the shield -- in whatever form it takes --that we use to defend ourselves should love be used against us or withdrawn from us at some future date. Letting go means putting aside those mental structures, such as judgment and comparison, which act as filters when we decide how to present ourselves to the world. It means not checking to see if we are safe enough to be ourselves or don one of our many personas. When we filter our interactions with the world in this manner, we remain cut off from ourselves, our source, our heart. The problem with letting go is that we have nothing to hang onto when we do so. It can feel like going into free fall without a parachute.
Our parachutes are the relationships we invest in, which include the relationship with ourselves. True investment, on the other hand, means we stack up the chips of love against all else, and we bet it all on love. Sure, it's risky, but playing it safe doesn't really make us feel safe anyway. So what are we really risking? When we orient ourselves from Love, what we are risking doesn't feel so scary because the focus is on who we are being in each moment -- no conditions, no pretenses, no strings attached. When we orient ourselves from fear, then each moment is a calculated, high-risk venture because so much of what we are betting on with fear has to do with our perception of "the other." And so we hedge our bets; we lock and load our filters.