I used to say and think that love was an act of will. It came from Shakespeare and the concept was appealing to me. That if you wanted love badly enough, that you could will it to be and could will it to last, just by the act of will--an act of commitment. Maybe the idea that love wasn't some big romantic thing that floated into us from a divine source through magical faeries and dancing lights, made me, at the time, feel comfort. If love is so magical and divine then, I (feeling unmagical at the time) would not qualify for the star treatment. Why would the fates divine to give me the magic of love?
Love being an act of will, rooted in the practical, being available to any of us who wanted to put forth the effort, well, that sounded like a better deal, something that any old human could muster.
Since then, a billion things have happened in my life, things that I have summoned up through sheer will alone, and more divine, magical things.
Acts of will are divine. The will is as divine as grace. Grace comes directly from god. Will is not the opposite of grace but a part of it. Our will is part of our spirit, that living thing in you that is not like anyone or anything else on earth. Your will is the drive you have, the mental focus, the mettle of your spirit to preserve when challenged. Grace is all of that and more. Grace is the light in you. It's divine and unique.
Love is an act of grace. Love is seeing the best in others and in yourself. The power of positive thinking. Grace is also loving yourself enough to know when to protect yourself and when to be fully vulnerable. Love is not all you need, but it sure is wonderful and helpful in life.
The more I grow to love and honor myself, the easier it is to love other people, even those who I love the most like my daughter, my mother, my friends, my yogis. I see their faults and weaknesses. Loving someone for exactly who they are is the highest love. Loving without asking.
I keep trying to finish this but it's not finishing. I need to put a pin in this. I feel like I was going somewhere and then...not so much. Stay tuned.
Yoga is not an act of will.