View this post on Instagram
“Power without love is brutal. Love without power is useless.” ~ Paul Linden
Paul Linden is an Aikido master.
I was listening to a talk the other day where he stated the aforementioned quote. What he’s getting at here is that power and love are not mutually exclusive. They can happen at the same time. When they do happen at the same time, life flows effortlessly. When one is out of balance, we are either destructive or lack the force to act on inspiration. As I was reflecting on this, I concluded that authenticity is at the intersection of power and love.
Power without Love
Considering the current happenings in the world, we can see how power without love is destructive.
The war in Ukraine is an apparent expression of power and one our world is quite familiar with—where there’s a play of dominance that is enacted by force. In this state, we are blind to the imbalance that we carry because power is generating energy. However, the energy it generates is not sustainable. Think about our domination of the earth and its natural resources. The energy generated from this dominance can not last forever.
So, when we use our power without the balance of love, the clock is ticking. It’s only a matter of time before we destroy everything, including ourselves.
Love without Power
This is more subtle but arguably just as harmful.
Love without power enables me to continuously give myself, but I cannot say no when something is not right. This leads me to a constant focus on how the world wants me to be. Therefore, I lack a connection to the creative and active force inside of me that has a specific expression. Then, I end up doing things that aren’t aligned with my purpose. Power isn’t there to direct the love, so I can easily become a victim of my circumstance.
When love is emphasized but we don’t have the power to speak up or act in the way we feel is right, we find ourselves spinning in circles.
The Union: An Authentic Expression
When needs are met (i.e. love) and I have access to my potential (i.e. power), authenticity emerges as a byproduct.
Knowing my place and having the strength to keep to it is my power, while I give myself wholeheartedly to the world as love. Therefore, I am capable of being more sincere in the way I walk in the world. I don’t compromise my own needs and I don’t oppress anyone else’s.
When power and love meet, the outcome is profound. The level of creativity and service generated through this union is greater than the individual parts could do on their own.
The equilibrium of power and love gives rise to wisdom. It brings an update into the world that’s both innovative and generous. We have seen examples of human beings who carry this balance and others who have been dominant in one. We have most likely seen how we treat ourselves when we are in balance with these two qualities and the contrast of imbalance.
In essence, if we throw out one of these qualities for the illusion that the other may be better, we lose great capability in what we have to offer the world.