Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

A nice image of a small bird chasing off a much larger bird. Was it love that gave the little bird courage?

What does that mean?
To me, his quote talks of the two faces of love. Love can be out-going (love from you to another person) and love can be inbound (love from another person to you). Each of these types of love have their own characteristics, and each of them smile on us in a different manner.

In the case of love inbound, it gives you strength. You know some one loves you, and you are able to handle tougher situations, be more energetic in your life and move the unmovable. This is because with this love, all things are possible.

In the case of love out-going, it gives you courage. You know your love for someone will sustain you and can help you face danger, deal with threatening situations, and sustain yourself against impossible odds. This is because with this love, you are emboldened and confident.

Why is loving and being loved important?  
In the context of this quote, we’re talking about how love impacts you, and how that is important in our lives. For this quote, we’ll discuss the out-going love and the inbound love separately. In each case, it seems that our belief(s) in ourselves change with the support of love.

The inbound love, the love you receive from others, provides us with the support we need to be strong. With the loving support of others, we are buoyed, and believe we can do (almost) anything.

The out-going love, the love you give to others, provides us with the reason we need to be brave and courageous. With the love for others in our hearts, we are more prepared to sacrifice so that they won’t have to suffer.

Where can I apply this in my life?
Let’s start with the people who love you. This can be romantic love, familial love or any other kind of love. It doesn’t have to be the most intense love ever, it can be a candle flame rather than a bonfire. Grab some paper and make a list of a few of them right now. Remember, you can always run this exercise in a few months from now, as your situation changes.

Now lets leave a little space and write down a list of people you love. This list may well include many of the people from the other list. As before, it can be romantic, familial or other kinds of love, and can be of any level of intensity. For each of the people listed in both lists, add a few words to describe the type of love and it’s intensity.

Also realize that many people ignore unrequited love. If you’re familiar with many of the older stories and quite a large number of poems, it is a very powerful force (at least in the stories and poems). Just be sure that you don’t go all crazy-stalker about it. That’s not love, that’s creepy.

Take a moment and consider each person on the first part of the list. How does their love for you support you and help you be strong? Are there any particular situations where this is more obvious or more appropriate? Jot down a few words about this next to each person.

Now do the same for the second half of the list. How does your love for them give you the ability to be brave and courageous? When is this feeling the strongest? When are the situations where it is the most obvious or appropriate? Jot down a few words about this next to each person.

Now comes the more interesting question. Have you ever shared these feelings with the people on your list? In most cases, I hadn’t, and that was a bit of a shock. Guess what’s on my list of things to do this weekend? I’ll be making lots of phone calls to family and friends, how about you?

Normally in the posts, we spend some time discussing how to make whatever the topic is better, stronger, more common or whatever. We can’t make others love us more, but we can work on loving others more. The other thing we can do is work on increasing the intensity of our strength and courage. However, there is always the creepy factor, so be careful not to go all psycho on us, OK?

Note that we have only covered the feelings of love we have for other people. Consider taking some time and exploring what ideals you love. Do the second half of the exercise again for the ideals, and consider what they mean to you, and how these feelings help you feel brave and courageous.

Love is one of the most powerful forces on this planet. Understand it, harness it and build on it. Love with honesty and integrity, and provide the world with your example.

From: Twitter, @tonyrobbins
confirmed (with a minor variation) at :
Photo (cropped) by Aztlek

, , , ,

13 Responses to Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

  1. Deena 13 September 2013 at 6:01 am #

    I love this quote.. but I just wondering, in which Lao Tzu’s book is this? I think his books are more about politics and governance..

    • philosiblog 15 September 2013 at 8:19 am #

      Not sure. WikiQuote still lists it as unsourced.

      • Massimo Lorenzini 15 September 2015 at 1:29 am #

        I’m suspicious of the source of this quote. Doesn’t sound like Lao Tzu to me.

      • philosiblog 21 September 2015 at 9:43 pm #

        Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

        I don’t know if anyone is skilled and informed enough to determine, without error, what was or was not said by someone multiple centuries ago. Add in a liberal translation of the source, you can end up with almost anything.

        That said, what did you think of the post, or was your primary concern the pedigree of the quote?

  2. Brianna Earls 5 July 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Great writng!

    • philosiblog 5 July 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you found the post to be of some use.

  3. Chichi Unique 19 June 2013 at 12:01 am #

    ok i dont understand this ‘Love can be out-going (love from you to another person) and love can be inbound (love from you to another)’ ?<==Inbound = Love from you to another???

    • philosiblog 19 June 2013 at 4:59 am #

      I blew it. Fixed. Good catch, thanks!

  4. truelia 15 March 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    I like this writing a lot! Very inspiring!

    • philosiblog 16 March 2013 at 6:04 am #

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you found it useful.


  1. Stimulate the heart to love, and all other virtues will rise of their own accord. | philosiblog - 29 March 2013

    […] But let’s consider that for a moment. How well do they work together? We have, as contenders for the first-among-equals in virtue love, gratitude, and courage. The connection between love and gratitude is fairly straight forward. The link between courage and love can be seen in this post. […]

  2. Quotes | Being deeply loved by someone gives you...... - PRIME Juicers - 9 December 2012

    […] Read more about this quote at philosiblog. […]

  3. We must generate courage equal to the size of the difficulties we face | philosiblog - 10 October 2011

    […] quote says we must generate courage. Courage comes from within, and is generated by your love for someone or some ideal. The courage to rush into a burning building is easy for a parent. Others use their […]

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: