In today’s world, do you think fear is winning? If you look on social media or in the news, you might think it is as there seems to be a focus on fear. If you look at our political current right now, you’d think fear might be winning as well.
If you have been following me for any length of time, you know I am a firm believer that love always wins, and I mean ALWAYS wins. I still stand by that belief as I know that there is far more kindness in the world than unkindness. What I have also learned, is that love winning looks differently than I originally thought it would look like. Love is bold and proud. Love is kindness and compassion. Love is caring and thoughtful. Love is forgiveness and understanding. Love is smiles, laughter, and hugs. Love is all that and more. That was my impression of love as always being right so to speak.
What I am learning is love is far more powerful than I ever gave it credit for being as love IS in the fearful, hateful, worrisome, behavior taking place just as much as it’s in the kindness, compassion, and care that is going on at the same time. Love is in the arguments. Love is in the laughter. Love is in the fear mongering speeches. Love is in the sweet words. How do I know this? Because love simply IS.
This past weekend I had a personal confrontation with fear and for a moment, I felt fear getting the best of me. It happened at my free hug event – which is about spreading kindness. As I walked up to my hug station, I could feel the heaviness in the air before I even approached. There was a group of men with an amplified system spewing hatred in the name of Jesus. Now, we’ve had these types of groups share this corner with us before, but this particular group had a far more negative and angry energy to them than the other groups. Thankfully my main huggers in Amanda and Tony were there, so they weren’t rattled as a newbie might be. The public park where we hug at had these men in several places around the park, so we chose not to move locations and decided to offer hugs there.
For the next 90 minutes we dealt with verbal attacks from the man at the pulpit telling people that our hugs would send them to hell. To him yelling at us that they were there first and you huggers should go away. He repeatedly called us out on his microphone while he spewed hatred on all the sinners in the world. The other men were there passing out materials and asking people if they had claimed Jesus. One told me that I needed Jesus’ blood poured over me or I would be going to hell. Shortly thereafter he asked me to give him a hug. In 8 years of hugging, I’ve not refused to give a hug, nor have I felt the need to for safety. After Mr. Trumps recent groping women comments and the hostility of this group, I told him NO. He then called me a few names and how dare I be judgmental on who I would give a hug.
Let’s just say it was a rough 90 minutes. Other protesters I’ve had discussions with when they’ve approached us asking our opinion on their stance and I’ve hugged many of them too, as I can hug someone I disagree with. The anger in these men was a new level, so I was comfortable in saying no.
What I did learn was that love was right there the entire time. Love was there to give Amanda, Tony, and I the courage and strength to do what we came to do and not engage these men in conversation. Love was there with every word they spoke and with every hug we gave. Love was there when MANY people came up to us and said stand your ground as we need more of that in the world than what they are saying. Love was there to remind us that we could join them in anger, frustration and condemnation or we could find compassion. Now, in those 90 minutes, I wasn’t feeling compassion for them, I was trying to ignore them and do what I came to do. I was reminding myself that hurt people hurt others, but in those 90 minutes, that really wasn’t making it ‘okay’ to me that hundreds and hundreds of people had to walk through that wall of fear. But love knew it was okay. Love placed us there to bring a little light to a dark moment. Love is always there, even when you forget its presence.
Moving forward, I encourage you to move through your moments of darkness by:
Being gentle with yourself. When you are going through a hard time, it is perfectly natural and okay to be scared, upset, mad, worried or a myriad of other feelings. Feel them, just don’t get stuck in them.
Remind yourself, hurt people hurt people. It doesn’t mean it’s okay to hurt others, but when you know they are coming from their own pain, it allows you to find compassion quicker. All actions have consequences and being compassionate doesn’t mean that they don’t have to face consequences to their actions, but it does mean you don’t have to add more negativity to the situation.
Being true to you. When faced with darkness, YOU decide if you need to remove yourself from the situation or stand there and bring light in. It’s often easier to love from afar and that is okay.
Remembering there are 7 BILLION people on this planet and the VAST majority of them are just like you wanting health, happiness and love. Those focused on fear may be loud, but they truly are in the minority.
Mostly, I want you to remember that regardless of what is going on in your life, love is right there. Love is there to heighten celebrations and lessen sorrows. Love is there to provide you strength and love is there to remind you it’s okay to leave. Love hasn’t abandoned you. Love hasn’t abandoned the persons focused on fear, they are just so focused on fear they can’t see love, but it’s there…waiting to be seen.
Until next time, you are worthy of great love. Know that to be your truth.
I focus on love and see it everywhere.
Words to Live By:
“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”
~ Thich Nhat Hahn
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
~ Franklin D Roosevelt
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
Sounds for the Soul: