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,
Learning to live in LOVE not Fear.