IS IT POSSIBLE TO ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE OVER FEAR?
You can be sure that as long as conflict resides inside us, it will be reflected in the world we live in. And seemingly the battle is as present in our exchanges on social media as they are on the front line.
Following the events that took place in November of last year - not just in Paris but also Beirut, Sinai and Baghdad - I took myself off (a hysterical) Facebook for the day, breathed a great sigh of relief and recognised something about my own behaviour, and indeed all our behaviours that will perpetuate events like these for the rest of time, unless we as a global community commit to making a change and start choosing love over fear.
I believe all decisions at their core, no matter how big or small stem from a space of either love or fear.
When we come from a place of love, we act with compassion, patience, gratitude, kindness, acceptance, delicacy, empathy. Separateness is an illusion. There are no boundaries, colours, races or religions. We realise that no one else will ever share our belief system in its entirety and that that’s ok. We celebrate diversity. We respect each other’s differences. We see ourselves reflected in those we love, we see the disowned parts of ourselves reflected in those we dare not look at but we begin to accept them too. When we are in this space we are more powerful than you can imagine. Light has truly overcome darkness.
But when our actions stem from fear, we judge, we retaliate, we grow superior and sometimes angry, jealous or in extreme cases, violent. For what is fear but feeling insecure or threatened? Whether we are the perpetrators, victims or the observers of the fallout of human devastation, if you choose to isolate a person, a generalisation, or even a singularity to pinpoint blame on, what are you highlighting except a belief that is different to your own? By highlighting our separateness, you pass judgement, you retaliate, you say you are a better human because your way is the only way. From someone's choice of footwear to the way they choose to grieve, as soon as you pass judgement, you give in to fear. You do not accept that we are all created equal. The world is unstable and frightening. You have relinquished all responsibility from the events happening around you. The problem is not yours, it is theirs.
But is it possible to meet these moments and each other with love instead of fear and stop defending our right versus someone else's wrong so vehemently? For that is the true power of gentleness - whether it’s the stigmatisation of the word ‘pray’, the damning of religion as a concept, the blanket racism and bigoted ignorance reported by our media, or even a disconnect from our own ‘Western’ civilisation, as we know it, meet it with love. These things are not the problem surely, it’s our attitude towards them. Meet them with love. If we can behave towards each other with such reactionary violence in both our words and our actions on social media, of course it will be reflected on an amplified scale by our governments. How can we live in a world where '20 missiles' sent in the other direction, as reported by The Sun, is an acceptable response to events such as these? What brings a man to perpetrate such acts in the first place? It is not love.
We are all different. We will always be different. We have to love each other BECAUSE of these things, not in spite of them. Discover what we can learn from one another. Be challenged. Question everything. Educate ourselves. Share. Like. And comment. But do it with love. Especially when times are dark. Especially when you don't agree. Is our defensiveness worth holding on to more than letting something go, or understanding another person's point of view? The growth and expansion available to us as a race in this moment is monumental. We have never been better informed. But if we continue to adopt a mindset of ‘us and them’ then the ego has already won because we’ve created an environment of opposites, a breeding ground for war. It’s time to surrender. It’s time to give in to love.
I pray not just for Paris but all the world, not because I am religious, but because I have a profound spiritual belief that we are all connected and have never needed each other more than now. That we are all jointly responsible. That we will not survive as a race if we do not work together without boundaries. As a global community. Isn't that what the Internet has gifted us with? Connection?
I believe I am part of a movement, transcending the differences that cause such devastating pain and destruction, leading from a space of love. And be sure that that work starts with myself. Resolving my own conflicts so that I contribute less to the manifestation of more of it around me. Taking responsibility for the power I have to change the course of history by making different, kinder choices. I am not a superhuman, I know that this will take a concerted effort. But I no longer want to judge, to belittle, to condemn, to fear. I want to love. In every choice, in every moment. Not just the people I happen to think are great or that agree with me. I want to believe in everyone. I want to believe in humanity. I want to believe in a future for my children. That's why I didn't unfriend anyone who’s view I didn’t match my own. Maybe if I meet their fear with love instead of yet more fear and retaliation it will create room for a little more kindness. Even that act in itself is enough for me.
Maybe every generation has felt like this, I have found extraordinary quotes as far back as Sophocles celebrating this notion but I see it as my responsibility as a human being in this moment, to also choose love. Nothing but nothing but love. I believe it is yours too. Extend your compassion. Notice your behaviour and choose differently. Love love LOVE one another with your whole hearts. Till it blots out all the rest.
Yes it is possible, for love is all there is, it’s all we’re made from when we allow ourselves to come home. And truly, it cannot be conquered.
“Antigone: I was born to love, not to hate. That is my nature.”
Thank you for your time. And of course, your love. xoxox