Let’s put this straight out at the beginning—Love is complicated and messy, and yet it is one of the simplest and most inherently human experiences on the planet. And we need way more of it—now more than ever.

I heard a line once that said, “I want to learn how to show love and not just feel it.” For me, this languaging of the nuances of love shifted me deeply. It’s about learning to give love and not solely receiving.

Sensitive people feel love deeply; this I know personally. While all humans are capable of feeling love, sensitives, by design, feel and receive twenty percent more of any experience than the majority of people on the planet. That doesn’t make us better, it simply makes us more sensitive to subtleties and depth. While this perhaps has felt like a curse to some (myself included at times) it is actually the magic we need on the planet right now.

When I was younger, I worked mainly with animals and children. With them, I felt safe because they are clear in their expressions and actions. They didn’t yet have the mechanisms developed to work out of integrity. They are ‘what you see is what you get’ technology in its first and finest incarnation. Humans—as we grow, learn, and integrate ourselves into society—develop all sorts of coping and hiding mechanisms in order to ‘stay safe’ within the herd. This often means hiding our true feelings and subsequently, our hearts. We learn to hide our affections, no matter how innocent they may be. We learn how to hide our opinions, no matter how profound and different. And we learn how to get along and stay out of trouble. Well, some of us do better than others at that last point.

What we tend to forget along the way is how to show love, especially to those we care about most. We feel it is a given. We told them, so that’s enough, right? Not so. If you don’t believe me, try it for a while and see how the relationship goes. We need the practice of love to keep love alive. This goes for all levels and types of love; from the personal, to the social, community based, and national level, all the way to our global level. We need to learn how to show and express love, which is vulnerable and therefore, risky. Which makes it that much more necessary. Love and loving are the antithesis of aggression, anger and disconnection. It is our primary connection and attachment tool. We need to learn how to wield it. And we need to learn fast.

The ancient Greeks had an understanding of love that we could benefit from in current times. They had six words for love; six different experiences of love they found important to understand and cultivate in a lifetime. They are as follows:

Eros, or sexual passion and desire, is arguably the most familiar. Our entire culture revolves around acquiring this type of love. The Greeks didn’t always see this as positive. You can imagine why.

Then there’s philia or deep friendship that could arise on the battlefield as well in shared community. It has to do with loyalty, sacrifice and sharing of emotions. This depth is lacking in many of our relationships for multiple reasons—one being we are afraid to be vulnerable and show ourselves.

Next is ludus or playful love. This is lighthearted love and playful banter. We might do this at work, or at a party or in a social setting. We definitely need to lighten up, play and laugh more. Even when it feels like the world is no laughing matter…especially then.

Agape is a selfless love that extends to everyone, both family and distant strangers. It later became known as charity. We could definitely use more of this in our world today.

Pragma or mature love is also sparse in our world. This is where we give love instead of only receiving it. This is a love of deep understanding, patience, and yes, of compromises.

Finally there is philautia, which is self love. Truly, all other expressions of love stem from this one. We really can only extend love from the love we feel for ourselves. Meaning, if we are secure in ourselves and have self love, then we are able to extend this love to others.

As we enter this holiday season, I encourage you to contemplate how you are showing love to your world. Those of us that love deeply, it’s time to expand that love as much as we are able and to put it into practice beyond just words. Love is an energy, an experience and a measurable vibration. Love is the magnetic force of connection and attachment. It is the vibration of our hearts. The more we allow this energy to be seen and felt on our incredible planet, the more it will multiply…exponentially. Others are watching us and will learn by our examples.

Perhaps it is true that all we need is love…in it’s myriad of forms, expressions and incarnations. Let’s shower the world with love and take this planet to the next level.