DescriptionLove is the most powerful force in the universe if we understand and learn to wield it. To authentically love yourself and others around you: that is the sign of the true revolutionary in a society that teaches us to hate ourselves; where we are bombarded with pain and shame, stripping us of our power and traumatizing us; and where, as a result, we carry this baggage into every relationship, perpetuating further injustice. In this Brown Paper, we call upon love as an antidote to injustice. We call for a catalytic, decolonizing, transformative love. We shine a light on the love that is practiced by communities like Fathers and Families of San Joaquin. We break open what we mean by self love; love for, with, and of others; love that is a community practice; and power fused with love. We discuss why it matters; where “we” are in the journey from the current state of this practice to where we want to (and need to) go; and how we believe we will get there. Finally, we discuss how we “measure” transformative love, or rather, how we can know it when we see it and how we can document its power for change. This kind of love is not a “feeling” but an action—not a noun but a verb. It is love actively practiced in community, starting with ourselves, for positive material change, justice, and liberation. And efforts to measure it will challenge us to bring harmony between our intellectual, intuitive, and spiritual ways of knowing—to see with our hearts and minds.
*After the Measuring Love Brown paper was released, Shiree’s co-author was arrested on allegations of child molestation. She addresses this in a “Letter to Beloveds” – an excerpt from her next collaborative paper, Healing Love into Balance.