Love is the origin of just about any religion, spirituality, or philosophy. Agape is the word that means all-encompassing love, the love that is larger than our human mind can conceive, and one of the names of God.
The following is a quote from an op-ed in the Washington Post from Bishop Michael Curry:
“Our nation’s heart breaks right now because we have strayed far from the path of love. Because love does not look like one man’s knee on another man’s neck, crushing the God-given life out of him. This is callous disregard for the life of another human being, shown in the willingness to snuff it out brutally as the unarmed victim pleads for mercy.
Love does not look like the harm being caused by some police or some protesters in our cities. Violence against any person is violence against a child of God, created in God’s image. And that ultimately is violence against God, which is blasphemy — the denial of the God whose love is the root of genuine justice and true human dignity and equality.”
The question becomes how do we find our way back to love? I always tell my clients the opposite of love is not hate its indifference and selfishness. When you truly stop caring about the well being of another you are not in the path of love. This is not easy; we all have felt hate and indifference and had to bring ourselves back to a place of some form of love. Certain acts such as forgiveness, prayer for others that have hurt you, prayer for the collective of all people, and checking in with yourself to see where this level of feeling is stemming from are all places to start.
However, the first and most important place to begin is by being aware.
- Be aware of your thoughts
- Be aware of the words you use
- Be aware of the judgment you feel in your heart
If you are not aware and willing to admit where you stand in your belief systems and ask yourself; is this serving me in a healthy way? Is this loving to others or is this harmful to others and possibly only serving my fears? Yes, fears can be served through hate, how? If you fear you will be attacked by a cat then every time you see one you will have a visceral reaction, a judgment of how you may be harmed and then reject or harm that cat to keep yourself feeling safe. This safety is built on fear of a collective belief and not truth of the current circumstance and will cause you to act in ways that are not loving. While this is an example of a collective belief one may have, we do it with everyday beliefs, big and small that we need to feel safe about. It is important to be aware of where your safety feels threatened and ask how you can feel safe inward by using current factually realities and not stories, we may be telling ourselves.
Fear is present when love is absent, this is a fact. Psychologically and physiologically due to how our nervous system and brain is wired to protects itself, the two emotions cannot be present at the same time.
I will leave you with this quote “every man is a link in the chain of your story.” Florence Scovel-Shinn
Everything, everyone, and every situation have value, it teaches you something positive or negative to progress you to the next place of your life.
If you are struggling with fear today please reach out to someone who can help you, a friend, relative, teacher, religious leader, or counselor. We are collectively struggling with all that is happening in the world but let us be present for each other now more than ever.
Namaste- The light in me sees the light in you, the place where the whole universe resides, Sheri Lawrence, LMFT, 200 RYT