My Sister has impacted my life in too many positive ways to count, but one interaction with her in particular always sticks out in my mind. She came home one day and was her normal, cheery self only to have me snap angrily at her about some trivial thing. She looked at me and asked sincerely, “Are you okay?”
I was confused by her obvious expression of concern for me considering how I had just treated her, but continued on my rampage. She interrupted me and, again, asked tenderly, “No, really, Sis… Are you okay?” She then went on to say one of the most insightful things anyone has ever said to me. She stated matter-of-fact, yet empathetically, “Hurting people hurt people”.
Maybe you have heard that saying before, but up until that moment, I had not, and it hit home hard. You see, what my Sister didn’t know was that just moments before she had returned home, I had been in yet another horrible fight with my then-boyfriend. I was hurting so badly that the pain was too intense to be felt as sorrow. My defenses had kicked in, erecting walls fortified with anger and bitterness around my heart.
At the time, I didn’t consciously understand why I was behaving as I was, but my Sister, looking through the lens of Love, recognized that there had to be something troublesome going on below the surface.
Had she not, it’s probable she would have let her own defenses flare and a verbal battle would almost certainly have ensued. We most likely would have vulgarly expressed our offense, accused each other of perceived wrongs and eventually gone our separate ways, divided and disgruntle. Of course, this would not have allowed for any type of insight into the real issue festering inside of me, but rather would have exacerbated my suffering and sucked her into her own.
When I take a look around at the people of this, and every nation, I see masses of the hurting in different stages of defense. I see people who perceive themselves as victims attacking others, and then the attacked also feeling justified in their retaliation. It’s this cycle of suffering that no party every truly wins, and that only perpetuates deeper, more wide spread suffering. And I am not just talking about people of opposing political parties; I see hurting people lashing out at their spouses, their families, and neighbors. I see people spewing hate and flinging hurt directed toward absolute strangers. I see, in almost everyone I know, including myself, a resounding outcry for Love.
How do we answer this cry? How do we begin to heal this hurting world? …Mend these broken relationships? Reach these barricaded hearts? The answer may initially sound a bit cliché, but I believe it begins with truly considering the age- old question “What would Jesus do?”
Jesus is the embodiment of God, and God IS LOVE, so perhaps more easily understood would be the same question worded as “What would Love do?’
Love is ALWAYS the answer, so how do we begin to apply it?
In order to even consider how we might “Heal the Rift” on a global platform, we must start precisely where we are…in the relationships that we presently find ourselves in. We start by acknowledging that every act is an act of Love or a cry for it. And then we consider which of these our interactions with others are rooted in.
There really are only two emotions that all other emotions are derived from: Love and the perceived lack of Love, better known as Fear.
How will you know if you are acting out of Love? You will FEEL it! Our emotions are our internal barometers. When you are thinking and acting from a mindset based in Love, you will feel “good’, there will be a sense of lightness, of harmony, of compassion and purpose.
When you are operating from a perceived lack of Love, you will feel disharmony in your physical body. There will be the negative emotions of fear, suspicion, offense, depression and/or anger. You may perhaps even experience a feeling of bondage.
Negative emotions are proof that you are out of alignment with Love!
It seems so obvious to point this out, but imagine how different our world would be if we recognized our own negative emotions and the negativity in others as a desperate plea for understanding and compassion. Imagine how much our relationships would benefit if every time we felt “attacked”, instead of using our own words and actions to wage war, we heard the hurt behind the defenses and responded with the gentleness and grace that Love Itself would!
I encourage you, in every encounter, to ask yourself, “How am I feeling?” If you are in a positive state of being, continue on. But if you find yourself misaligned with the ultimate goal of Love, evidenced by negative emotions, stop yourself. Take a moment. Take a breath. Ask Love to guide your thoughts and consequent actions. Ask, and DO NOT ACT UNTIL YOU “SEE” THE PATH THAT LOVE WOULD TAKE. Ask, and wait until you FEEL calm and at peace; and are positive that what comes forth from you is a step toward healing versus hurting.
I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly persistent Love offered to a perceived attacker disarms them, and allows for forgiveness and positive growth inside you both!
Thank you for opening your hearts and minds to hear my heart and mind today! I pray this message brings you revealing light that you take with you and shine forth onto your corner of this world <3
From a heart outpouring Love,
Hi! My name is Tessa Britany.
I am going to be really honest here in my “Live In Love” content, so I will tell you that I don’t usually use my last name because I have been married and divorced twice and just find it less strange to use my middle name at this point. Now that I have put that out there, hopefully you can already see that I have made some not-so-great choices in my life, and also that I am going to be as transparent as possible in sharing who I am, where I come from, and what my intention in reaching out to you from this platform is.
My Past (and why it is pertinent enough for you to bother hearing about it):
I was one of those kids who was potty trained and could talk before they quit nursing. My family jokes about me being almost three before my mom stopped letting me latch on. All I know, and I kid you not, is that I REMEMBER nursing (insert eek face!) I was also that little girl who constantly wanted to be attached to her Mom’s hip. I actually cried so hard I turned blue the two times my mom attempted to leave me with a babysitter.
I tell you all this to give you a better idea of how difficult it was to have my parents divorce when I was eight years old. My Dad got primary custody in a pretty awful battle for my two brothers and I. When we moved two hours away, I only saw my mom every other weekend. Looking back, I realize that I had night terrors like one suffering from PTSD might. I was intermittently consumed with thoughts that my mom had died. I would break down and cry in school, afraid that she was gone and no one had bothered to tell me yet. When I got a little older, I remember thinking that maybe it would be easier if she were dead versus just in another town and seemingly indifferent to the fact that I felt absolutely desperate for her while she could go a week without calling and even occasionally forget it was her weekend to come and get us.
I spent, what seemed to be, my entire childhood in a state of sadness that still brings me to tears to reflect upon. I was broken. I was often severely anxious. I felt alone. I didn’t understand Love or that I was loveable.
As you may have guessed, my early adult life was anything but stable. I was in and out of numerous turbulent relationships; some of which involved verbal and physical abuse; all of which involved fear and ego-driven defenses.
Just after my first divorce I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (bleeding ulcers in my large intestine that led to severe abdominal pain, horrific blood loss, etc). For over a decade, the symptoms continued until I had no choice but to have my colon removed. Well, I take that back, I did have a choice. The doctors explained it was either the colectomy or death. Even though I had said for years that I would rather die than have a “poop sack”, when it came down to it, a temporary hole in my abdomen and a few permanent scars were indeed a better option than dying.
In my early thirties I finally got some much needed counseling and was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (not to mention anxiety, depression, Stockholm’s Syndrome and PTSD). BPD is an attachment disorder most problematic in my romantic relationships and evidenced by my tendency to “flip” from a person who was overly attached to my significant other to one who devalued every possible thing about them, making them a monster in my mind and treating them accordingly.
Are you getting a picture of how big of a wreck I was? There is way more to the extreme drama and chaos that was my life than I will presently take the time to divulge, but I want you to begin to see that I was suffering. Why? Because I know that there are soooooo many of you out there who’s stories are equally as, or even much more, traumatic. I know that you, too, are struggling with intense feelings of loss and fear and separation from Love. You, too, are battling with emotional dis-ease and it’s counterpart, physical disease. And when I consider how overwhelming my sorrow and pain has been, it is heart-wrenching to know that there are those of you who are also living in emotional and physical anguish; anguish that seems as though it will never end; anguish that perhaps is causing you, too, to detach yourself from others in an effort to stop feeling the intolerable fear of not being loved.
That, my Friend, is why I am writing this. I am here to reach you wherever you are. I am here to tell you that I have experienced my own hell, and have been shown the way out from it. I am here to shine light on to that way through testimony and friendship and Truth. Ultimately, I am here to help “heal the rift” between your suffering Soul and your Savior.
I hope that you will join me on a consistent basis as I share with you what it means to “Live in Love”, because I sincerely believe that whatever negative scenario you find yourself in, Love is the way to make it “right”.
Thank you for taking the time to hear a little bit about my past pain and the present petition of my heart. I promise that from here on out the message will be far more about the path to healing than my personal struggles. I truly feel like my entire life has been a preparation for this time we will share together. If I can reveal our Creator’s all encompassing Love to even just one of you, all that I have endured that has ultimately led me to the understanding of that Love, will have been worth it! So I pray that you will continue to join me while I sift through my past, and the revelations that my experiences have allowed, in order to be at peace with the present and excited and filled with hope about ALL of our futures!
Sincerest Blessings, Beloved Souls,
With much Love,
Learning to live in LOVE not Fear.