Yesterday was the Boston Marathon and there were bombs. People died and were horribly injured. Most injuries were lower body injuries. Legs. At a marathon. It's sickening, really, and it doesn't make any sense. I only looked at a few photos from yesterday, and honestly from the looks of it, it seems like a miracle that more people weren't injured or killed. I am so sad for the victims and the people who witnessed such a traumatic event. Lots and lots of people are very sad and angry that something so awful could happen right under our noses. In response to one of my friend's Facebook posts about the incident, someone wrote "Wake up America!"
It's true. It is definitely time to wake up. It's time to keep waking up. For some of us, waking up is a process. I think when people say "Wake up!" they are often calling upon us to DO something. And often what a lot of people DO, is turn to our leaders and say, "What are YOU going to do?"
In tragic times it is completely normal to look to others for answers. When a violent crime takes place, we look to others and we wait to see how they will respond to the violence. We turn to others to bring forth justice. We want the perpetrator named and blamed. We want all that. I think that's normal.
Here is what I propose we do: First, if you are sad and angry because of something that has occurred, sit with that feeling for a bit. Let yourself feel the sadness. Let it fill every cell of your body. Feel the anger. Let it sink it. Simply be with it.
And then, take responsibility for your sadness and your anger. You are not a victim. You are a warrior and it is time to fight back. If you are moved to sadness or anger, you really must do something about it. None of us can afford to witness the violence we see in our lives each and every day and do nothing. Yes, it's time to fight. It's time to revolutionize the ways in which we do sadness and anger.
What? You have no weapons? Okay. Good.
We are heading into this battle armed with nothing but love. Love. Mmmhmm.
From all I know to be true in this world - from knowledge gained being a painfully shy and overanxious child, from reading countless books, from graduating with an MSW, from attending seminars, volunteering, and becoming a mother; from talking to people, and listening to people, from living, and from experiencing heartbreak and learning how to put the pieces of my heart back together, I know that love is the answer.
If you are awake and ready for action, then love a little more. Give a little more grace to the person who cuts you off on the highway, to the mom who never seems to have it together, AND the one who ALWAYS seems to have it together. Give more grace to your children's teachers and the PTO president, to your neighbors, to the people who take your orders, your boss, and to our leaders. Give more grace to the people who disappoint you and the people you disappoint. Give more grace and love to your partner, your children, and your dog. Give yourself more grace. Just a little to start, see how it feels, then go full throttle when you're ready.
I know that it is true that like attracts like. It is true that what you put out into the world returns to you. You really do reap what you sow. It's all true.
Love more. Those who bask in the glow of your love will follow your lead. Soon the love will go viral. The entire planet will be LIT UP with love sweet love.
Believe me when I say that I know love isn't all lollipops and rainbows. Love mirrors life in that it can be downright dreamy one day and a freakin' nightmare the next. In a second everything can change. It happens all the time.
It hurts to love sometimes. It can be really hard to love. When my dad died a few years ago I kept wondering whey I had to love him so much that I would allow my heart to break in his absence? When I watch my children in their most tender moments, I think "Oh MY GOD! It hurts me to love you this much." Sometimes I watch my husband laugh with our kids and I think, "OUCH. I love you so much that it is downright painful." To love someone so much that I know if anything harms that person, I will die - that is scary.
The awareness that to love something means to open myself right up to the possibility of pain can be so frightening and maybe that is why we often choose not to love so freely. Maybe that is why we will only love with conditions. Maybe that is why we choose anger or sadness - to start from a place that can't get much worse.
What if we made LOVE our rock bottom?
Start with love and where do you go from there? What makes itself known to you? Grace, mercy, freedom, fullness...BLISS?
I'm on a bit of a mission to love like crazy and to open myself up to being loved. We all are really. The mission is OURS should we choose to take it.
Love has EVERYTHING to do with it.