This weekend the United States will be celebrating our independence on the 4th of July. There will be fireworks, parades and cookouts. It’s personally my favorite holiday as summer is my favorite season and there are fireworks! I also find it a great time to ramp up on my appreciation for all the freedoms allotted to me knowing I have many privileges that others don’t have. With privilege comes responsibility. And with responsibility comes compassion and understanding for those who are facing great challenges. For people who are in direct disagreement with us. Even for people who are so steeped in fear they think, speak and do fearful acts. Fear asks for retribution. Love understands consequences while remaining in a space of love.
In recent weeks the country has had love and fear come to a head with two divisive events stirring up deep seeded emotions on right/wrong and good/bad.
On June 17th a young white man, steeped in fear, shot and killed 9 African-American’s as they sat in prayer in their church in Charleston, South Carolina. An act that is seemingly inexplicable and hateful. Yet those directly affected by his heinous act showed immediate forgiveness knowing this too was part of opening our hearts deeper. A horrific act that has brought attention to the confederate flag that still flies in several southern states, and is part of the South Carolina state flag. A flag that represents oppression to many and southern pride to others. The flag coming down excites the masses and yet brings tremendous anger to a small faction.
On June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage is legal in all 50 States. This ruling brought great celebration to the country for many, while others see their religious freedoms being lost.
How do I tie these two events together as one is about hate and the other love? Because they both have brought division to the forefront. They have both brought fear, whether knowingly or unknowingly, to center stage for discussion and healing. They offer an opportunity for those who say they stand on the side of love to truly be loving and not step into fear of name calling and judgment on those who disagree with them. They offer those who stand in fear an opportunity of growth into love or at the very least an opportunity to not spread more fear.
These are two BIG events that took place in a short period of time. Neither are new as they have been issues for decades and longer. However, we can learn from each of these to be kinder, gentler and more loving to those who see things differently than us. Our world is changing and what may seem ‘bad’ today will show us a new way of being better tomorrow.
How do we move forward with more love and understanding for all? I invite you to move though fear with love by:
Being what you want to see in the world. If you want more love in the world, be more loving in your place in the world. If you want more peace in the world, be more peaceful in your life. If you want more kindness in the world be kinder to yourself and others in your personal life.
Seeing the positives in any given situation knowing you are free to make the right choice for you.
Sending loving thoughts rather than condemnation to those who see things differently than you.
Mostly, my wish for you is a week filled with gratitude and appreciation for your freedom of choosing how to perceive your life, the life of others and the world at large.
Until next time, shine bright, be bold, love deeper and enjoy the fireworks!
I choose loving thoughts, words and actions in all situations.
“Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.”
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
~ Robert Frost
“Everything can be taken from a man but…the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
~ Victor Frankl
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”