Saturday, October 24, 2015
Here’s what happens when I read or watch or listen to the news these days:
First I get depressed at the ways in which humanity reverts to the cycle of blame and retaliation and violence over and over and over again.
Then my blood quickens and I get enraged.
Then I calm myself down, remember that depression and rage won’t help heal the sorrows of the world, and then I look within and vow to interrupt the cycle of blame and retaliation in my own behaviour.
I vow to replace depression with hopefulness, and rage with love.
What I’m beginning to understand is how much easier it is to think about these kinds of things, or to read about them, or tell other people about them, than it is to actually do them.
It’s remarkable how a bunch of theoretical thinkers messed turned words into a complicated theory and calls them ‘religion’ with rules and punishments and things to memorize and get dressed up for.
We humans have to go through all sorts of convoluted manoeuvres to metabolize the most basic wisdom.
And even though it may seem we are the most obstinate species ever created, we do learn; we can change. If we so choose, we can get better at being love.
Today I vow to BE love, and even though I break the vow over and over, I keep coming back to it.
When I awake, I vow to be love with my husband. I vow to be love even though he hasn’t shaved, even though I’ve heard the story he tells at breakfast many times before. Instead of being impatient, I turn to my husband and offer my whole self to him no resistance, no irritation, just love. It’s as if the sun breaks through a cloud, bathing us in its healing warmth and magnanimous spirit.
I vow to be love with every being I meet. The best I can do is pay attention if I’m antsy or annoyed and what you know as the day goes on, being love gets easier and easier, as my acceptance muscles get stronger than my attacking ones.
As I grew wiser with age I realized it was not ideas that changed the world, but simple gestures of love given to the people around you, and sometimes to those you feel most at odds with.
So in order to save the world, we must serve the people in our life.
We are powerful beyond measure and so deeply vulnerable at the same time. This may seem like a dichotomy, but it isn't. We have misunderstood real power. It has been something assertive, non-surrendering, pushing on through.
This is not real power.
This is simply wilfulness.
Real power is something else - receptivity, open-ness, and the courage to keep your heart open on the darkest of days, the strength to feel it all even when the odds are stacked against you.
Real power is showing up with your heart on your sleeve and absolutely refusing to waste one moment of your life hidden behind edginess and armour.
The art of enheartened presence. Now that's power.
love light and peace