Have you ever been somewhere where the environment provided you with just too much of anything? I think of times where I’ve been in large groups of people for too long, in loud surroundings for too long, getting talked at for too long, or encased in smoke from cigarettes, bonfires, or any other smell for too long.
First, I get a nagging itch. My flight response starts to trigger. I try to check out a bit and get within myself to recuperate or recharge for a final push to get through it. When this doesn’t get me to the end, I begin to have vivid verbal dialogues within myself. I say positive things, strengthening words, and if this doesn’t work – I deteriorate into a major flight response. I will pace, get agitated, and eventually find a way out to leave the environment. This inevitably leads to relief and a refocusing on the things often taken for granted yet newly appreciated like space, silence, or fresh air.
Recently and unwillingly, I have been exposed to and ingested far too much hate. The events of the world around me and exposure via social media have generated far too much hate to handle. Hate in the form of violence. Hate in the form of blame. Hate in the form of people experiencing happiness as a result of the pain of others. Hate in the form of just nasty commentaries on who is right, wrong, evil, or good based on perspective. If we focused on love, not a fluffy bubblegum concept, but REAL love, our interactions and experiences with each other would be drastically different.
Just as toxic is the never-ending opportunities where we drag each other into the pain of what is going on by taking like knowledgeable observers in judgment of these events or complaining about how we can’t change the world around us. If I’m honest with myself, I know these are all things that are so easily focused upon. The media preys upon what will get us most distracted and runs those stories with alarming repetitive regularity for their ratings. They focus us on tragedy and hate; fear and failings in the name of ratings, which equals money.
Right now, I am raising my hand as chief of the offenders. I have done all of the things I mention above. However, I also have recently realized that I can play a part in making things better. Although my delivery often needs work, the answer has been and continues to be LOVE.
I realize that many aren’t use to a man talking about love and frankly that is a problem. Love should never be far from any person’s mind, lips, or in this day and age keyboards. In all matters we need to expound and extoll the virtues and power of LOVE. Whether you are a humanist, atheist, spiritualist, universalist, whatever-ist, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, or any and all other walk of life/belief system. The basic premise remains the same – LOVE is powerful and the world is starving for it.
Love inspires uncommon acts of self-sacrifice, brotherhood and sisterhood, compassion, healing, and community. But how can anyone make a difference in such a big world? Here are some general lessons I have learned. There are always exceptions to every rule, but this is serving me well.
- LOVE those around you, even when you don’t feel like it. Feelings are fleeting, but love is consistent.
- Push yourself to see the LOVE in yourself and for yourself. You can make tremendous contributions to the people you touch each day with any type of interaction. Though often unseen by the person generating the LOVE, it is greatly impactful on the person receiving the LOVE.
- Look for the helpers and be one. In times of pain and tragedy, let’s hurt with those hurting, but stay clear of judgment and blame towards those who are in pain. If we can take our eyes off the pain and look at the LOVE that comes from those who are comforting, we begin to see things from a higher perspective. This helps elevate our thoughts away from distraction and keeps us focused on healing.
- It’s not as easy as I first thought, but it takes focus, determination, and a lot of positive self-talk.
- Just Do It – what have you got to lose?
When in times of crisis, dismay, pain, or when surrounded by hate, if we focus on love we will AWAKEN to our strength and RISE to inspire others to do the same. We can make a difference. Let’s not be held hostage by the hate that continues to swirl around us, but let’s call on our most powerful asset.
Therefore, I call on myself and hope you will join me to embrace the POWER of LOVE and RISE ABOVE the hate!