“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
There are times-no matter how positive we may want to be-when it’s almost impossible to feel upbeat and optimistic. Ten minutes of watching the evening news seems to require a flak jacket and hemet these days.
Our senses are constantly assaulted by disturbing images and sounds. Not to mention our hearts that break again and again for the victims of crimes and their families. We are beset with narratives that just don’t make sense and a society that doesn’t seem to change – even after all the lessons we’ve collectively learned about the value of every single human life.
And then there is the feeling of helplessness…What can I possibly do? How can I possibly make a difference here or anywhere? Why does this keep happening?
When something awful happens, the question you should be asking yourself isn’t “Why?” The question is “Who?” As in who am I? And who do I want to be? It’s the only thing you can really know. It’s the only thing you can really change. Let what is unexplainable be unexplainable. You cannot change what has happened and you can’t control other people. However – you can let adversity teach you something about yourself. You can let it help to define who you are.
Who am I? Am a the kind of person who brings light and love to situations that are surrounded in darkness? Am I adding to the darkness of a situation by pouring more darkness into it? Or am I helping the light find a way into the situation by bringing my light into it?
Am I the kind of person who isn’t reactionary? Do I take time before reacting to consider how my actions will effect myself and others?
At my core (my authentic self, my immortal soul, my heart center and sanctuary) do I believe in the power of LOVE? Is LOVE my truth? And if LOVE is my truth, how is it reflected in my life? My words? My deeds?
What am I doing on a regular basis that expresses that LOVE at core of my being? Can we ask ourselves, in any given situation “What would LOVE do?” And we’re not talking about an airy fairy kind of love – we’re talking about Mother Teresa, Jane Goodall, Indira Gandhi kind of love; fierce, firm, giving, steadfast. Can we stand up in the face of darkness and be LOVE and LIGHT?
It’s obvious our world needs big shifts right now, needs big LOVE, RIGHT NOW. Waiting for a hero to come along will only prolong the process of peace in our world that we all want. If we each start with what we have and where we are and ask ourselves again and again, “What would LOVE do?” we can make changes.
What are you posting on social media to help LOVE find it’s way? What are you saying to the people in your life to cultivate a culture of LOVE around yourself? What are you saying to yourself around LOVE and your own worthiness? How can you do better?
We’re all in this together – whether we admit it or not. The world’s pain is ours and the sooner we reach out in LOVE the better our lives will be.