There is a battle being fought in this very moment. An ancient battle that has been going on since the dawn of humanity. It rages inside of us, rips through our relationships, tears at the fabric of our cities, our countries and could very well end up being the downfall of our species. “An organism at war with itself is doomed”-Unknown author. This is the battle of LIGHT vs. dark, LOVE vs. fear, TOLERANCE vs. hate, PEACE vs. war or COMPASSION vs. judgment. We are seeing this play out in a big way in our world right now. There are millions of people around the world living in terror at when and where the next attack will be. Our own states are far from free or united as hate tightens its powerful grip, twisting & undermining the very principles on which we were founded. You are either directly or indirectly being impacted by this battle every second and most have no idea how to stop it. So what can we do to help or to make a difference? Should we organize protests and movements ‘against’ those in the wrong? We could publicly shame those who have different views and argue with each other just so people know exactly where we stand. We could share awful footage of hate, violence and war so everyone keeps being reminded how REALLY bad it is. Should we stay glued to the ‘news’ and watch someone else’s view of world events so we know how to react? Or perhaps we could ignore it, pretend it isn’t happening and go about our lives until it all settles down. I happen to think none of it is helping and there is something we can do that WILL make a far bigger impact than any of those things.
Let’s imagine an actual battlefield for a moment, a wide open field with millions of Soldiers. There are only two types of Soldiers in this battle. Soldiers of Fear with their weapons held high, consumed with rage destroying anything in their path and Soldiers of Love armed with nothing but the strength of their capacity to love. Soldiers of Love are far more powerful and could easily win the battle, but unfortunately there are not enough of them at this moment. Right now EVERY time someone watches the news and feels hate another Soldier of Fear is deployed. Each time we worry about terrorism or feel rage at the President or a White Supremacist group, even more Soldiers of Fear appear. Each time we speak, think or feel the hate, terror and rage more and more Soldiers of Fear are deployed. Now let’s get one thing straight, I absolutely do not condone, excuse or justify what these individuals & groups are doing but adding HATE TO HATE ONLY MULTIPLIES IT AND ADDING FEAR TO TERRORISM ONLY STRENGTHENS THE FOUNDATION IN WHICH IT OPERATES. My plea to all of us is to resist the urge to HATE, FEAR and JUDGE, even those doing the most heinous things. What we need are Soldiers of Love, billions of them flooding the battlefield with each thought and feeling of love, tolerance and compassion. Send your LOVE and PRAYERS to The President and see him as a better version of himself uniting the country and making peace with other nations. When you see hate crimes and violence envision people of all races holding hands, embracing and feeling love for one another. See those perpetrating as children who were born as innocent as the rest of us. Some may not understand the magnitude of this but if you truly understood THE POWER OF YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS you would choose them wisely for they create our collective reality.
I fully understand I do not live in Guam, or Barcelona and have never been the recipient of hate or judgment for the color of my skin. But I have been judged because of my weight, the size of my bank account and many other things. I have been called ‘chunky’, ‘fat’, a ‘dirty hippy’ and told I don’t live in reality. I have sat curled in a corner consumed with fear from abusive relationships wondering when the next act of ‘terror’ would be. I have traveled to numerous countries, to remote villages across the globe and know that we are FAR MORE SIMILAR THAN WE ARE DIFFERENT. We all experience basic human emotions regardless of what is causing them. Happiness, joy, sadness, fear, love, anger etc. When we, as a whole, decide to seek out what makes us SIMILAR rather than different we will begin to heal. I have a deep love for ALL of humanity and not just people who are nice or easy. I believe that those who are lashing out NEED OUR LOVE & LIGHT THE MOST. Last year the Sustainable Lifestyle Company I am part of sent a group of us to Albania to do a service project. We spent 3 days at a government housing shelter outside of the countries busy capitol, Tirana installing solar street lights and setting up a soccer field for the children . This was my 5th or 6th trip of this kind and up to now I had been in remote village where generations of families struggled with scarcity of food, water and access to energy. What they did NOT struggle with is a lack of love. It was evident in the way the children in those communities helped us in any way they could. One child in Fiji actually hiked behind me ‘pushing’ me up the hill when I got winded. All of these children were good natured, curious and open with our group. It was easy for us to give them our best. Albania however, was a completely different story. This was a transient community that changed as people came in and out. These were families torn apart by war, abuse, addiction and poverty and it was VERY evident in the children. They were wary of us the first day, and the more comfortable they got the more awful their behavior became. They yelled at us, stole tools and supplies , threw garbage in front of us after we did a trash clean up, held fake guns to our head and even threw rocks at us! It was EASY to dislike them, to be angry and unkind. I was tested very much those two days but quickly realized these are the children that need my love the most. Experiences like this have increased my compassion for ALL people. Yes I feel for those who are being judged by the color of their skin BUT I ALSO HAVE COMPASSION for the one judging who is just repeating what they saw, or displacing their anger. YES I HAVE COMPASSION for the people hurt in acts of terror BUT I ALSO HAVE COMPASSION for the people committing those acts who are a product of their culture, or replaying the war they experienced as a child. We don’t need everyone to see the world this way, and many will disagree with me, but when ENOUGH of us become conscious of the thoughts and feelings we release into the world WE CAN win the war. I will let NO ONE pull me low enough to hate, for I AM NOW AND WILL FOREVER BE A SOLDIER OF LOVE.
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
*There is an amazing song by Sade which inspired this whole post. ‘Soldier Of Love’ By Sade