Sunday morning I found myself moved into deep silence. The recent events of the world have grown profoundly horrific and unsettling. I found myself without words.
So I went inward. I simply grew silent for most of the day. I visited gardens at a monastery. I went online and watched a talk by Michael Bernard Beckwith – over and over again. That’s because he said something “sticky”.
He said to start each day asking myself: How can I share? How can I give? How can I radiate? This is a “return to sender” universe… everything we send out comes back to us.
I thought about where in life I want to radiate, share and give. And I quickly grew passionate with the discovery of where I wanted to be a greater provider in life.
The next morning, the very first thought in my mind was, “How can I radiate, share and give today?”. I witnessed how it softened my energy. I gave my silence by not telling someone what I REALLY thought about a comment he posted online that I found disturbing. I was reminded of the power of giving silence – especially when speaking up does nothing but stir the pot or poke the bear.
I’m seeing a lot of messages telling people to choose love, not hate. Today, I paused my work and asked myself, “How I can radiate love today? What act of love and kindness can I commit?” Ironically, an opportunity had just presented itself for me to extend help to someone I deeply disliked. I found my energy toward this person softening as I spent some time reconnecting and providing guidance to someone I had never anticipated speaking to again.
I wonder how many people stop at telling others to choose love in an online post, but don’t actually DO anything meaningful to demonstrate the very choice they are promoting.
Instead of telling other people how to live, why not BE the very thing we are trying to promote? Then we can share our story of what happened when we did choose love, so others can be inspired by our action – and not just by the two words we typed.
Although the world is feeling out of control, my world isn’t. And maybe that’s because I’m going inward and taking control. I’m looking at where I can be softer and kinder in my life.
This week, I know I am choosing love because I’m doing something different than I would normally have done. I’m welcoming what I would normally shut out. I’m choosing silence over self-righteous judgement. I’m embracing a greater circle of acceptance. I may not be able to change the global world, but I certainly can change mine.
If I want a more loving world, I have to create it – with my own hands first.
I’m not changing my Facebook profile picture this week. I decided that the recent tragedies are a call for me to do more than just show support. This is a call for change. But I didn’t want changing a Facebook photo to be the only change I made. I want the change in my life to be significant.
This week, I will commit an act of kindness – and it will be for someone I don’t like. I will find someone who elicits ugly emotions in me (anger, hatred, envy, self righteousness). I’ll take a moment to find something in them that is beautiful. And then, I’ll extend an act of love to them – something meaningful and touching to them. An act that actually demonstrates that YES, #LoveRules isn’t just a hashtag – it’s a guiding principle for how I live.
I invite you to join me in committing an act of kindness for someone you dislike.
It’s time to look at my world to see where I’m letting darkness survive in my life. I’m notoriously slow to forgive and forget; perhaps this week, I can change that by letting love rule instead of my ego.
Perhaps this is my week to get to know someone who appears to be everything I can’t stand. I might be surprised by how beautiful they truly are in their soul.
I can’t change the profoundly hateful acts occurring every day throughout the world. But I can definitely change how hate and darkness lives in mine.
(related: Being Less Horrible to Others)