Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Power of Love

A friend of mine text me the other night and urgently told me to watch an ID network Dateline special report about the 'Vampire King' Marcus Wesson. Not knowing about this villain prior, I gullibly watched the report open minded and vulnerable. The late hour allowed the visuals of the incidents and the similarities of them to my own life access my psyche; in turn giving me nightmares for the rest of the night. I tossed and turned, as memories of my own father injected themselves into dream settings from the show. My father's claims of the "evil government" and his "divine status" paralleled those of Marcus Wesson; and the misdirected devotion of the Wesson children aligned with that of my mother, my brothers and sisters, and myself. 

Wesson trained his children to kill each other if any government agency were to ever come knocking on their door (Can anyone say horror movie?). According to my dad, he was the only one who could take any of our lives, but the confusion he instilled in us caused a form of Stockholm Syndrome where we would protect our home and our family (which included him) at almost any cost. The life we lived was all we knew no matter how bad it was, and the longing for moments of better days fueled our ability to weather the bad ones. 
  

When the host of Dateline asked one of the specialists on the Wesson case, why is this kind of brainwashing so effective, the response was "because humans need love...as far as the Wesson kids knew, their father loved them." This statement pricked me like an unsuspected thorn in a bouquet of roses. "Love?" I thought. "How and why would love be the cause of such suffering?" Then I realized that anything as powerful as what we call love, can be used to destroy the very thing that it helped create; life.

I thought about my mother and how she allowed her love for my father to affect the choices she made concerning herself and her children. I thought about how as a child, my love for my parents made me excuse and limit my questioning of what happened to me. I thought about the thousands of women in the world that stay in abusive relationships because they love their abusers, and all the children that endure pain and neglect at the hands of their parents because they know nothing else but love for the people they came through.  All this thinking inspired me to ask my Facebook friends "Why do humans need love?"

Below is a snippet of the feed. 


Why do humans need love or to be loved?
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The ancient Greek used 7 words to define the different states of love
Curtesy of  for the Huffington Post
According to York psychologist, Professor Authur Arun, love is a combination of chemicals and hormones. Backed up by Helen Fisher of Rutgers University, these hormones are released in three stages that ultimately lead to a long happy marriage between two people; a process intended to maintain the survival of the human species
But what about when that backfires? According to the U.S. Justice Department, in the United States, one of the most dangerous places for a woman to be is in her own home. That's crazy! 
Why doesn't the need for survival of self, overpower the survival of the human species? Why when a man beats his pregnant woman so bad she loses her baby, does her instinct to sustain herself and protect her children, not take over? There are many reasons, social and emotional, why a woman stays with her abuser, but one of biggest reasons is because she loves him. Love is so powerful that it has the ability to spark life, sustain it and distinguish it. No wonder God is it's closest association. 

My conclusion is this: humans need love in order to thrive. It is the pure uncontrollable emotional energy sourced from our higher selves that has the ability to span time and space. And like most things on earth, we need some of what we are made of to replenish, maintain, rebuild, heal and function. 

Whether it is a combination of chemical reactions in the brain or a drop of pure divine essence from the Almighty, It is love that compels a mother to feed her newborn; and it is love that inspires great works of art. Love can fuel the building of a wonder of the world and it can also tear down an empire. I guess we just have to take the good with the bad. But like any form of power, love should be used wisely. The unconditional love of a child should be cherished, honored and handled very carefully. The emotional 
adoration of a partner should never be used to control and manipulate them. And like in the cases of the Vampire King and Aswad Ayinde, if your family loves you because they have to, doesn't mean that you should take advantage of it for selfish benefit (I like horror movies when they are only a movie). 

If you are blessed enough to be given the gift such as the ability to wield the power of having someone love you, you must use that power wisely because having that power also means you have the ability to destroy. And we wouldn't want that, now would we?