Only Love Can Do That!

soulonfire“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” (MLK)

Happy Birthday to the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. When I first read the Ferdinand Foch quote on the poster, I thought I’d love to change “weapon” to “force”, but you know, there are times in life when you have to fight. When you have to stand up and get loud. When it’s your responsibility to say, “This is not okay.”

We have gotten incredibly confused. We are not here to compete with each other, to step on each other, to push each other out of the way. Have you seen people drive? Do you realize there are people who will not let you merge? Who speed up if you indicate you’re going to move into their lane with the correct and courteous use of your turn signal? Have you experienced someone pretending not to see you as the elevator door closes? Had a door shut in your face when it could just as easily have been held open? How about you? Do you have a policy of ignoring homeless people? Do you ever buy anyone a sandwich if you have the money to spare? Or stop to talk, to let them know you can see them, that they are not invisible? What happens when you see someone who’s very large, or dressed in a way you would never be? What springs to mind, compassion or judgment? This crew is so full of love and light, I really doubt any of you need to think about those questions. But when I look at the state of the world, I want to send out an army of love warriors. Anyone want to enlist?

We glorify violence and domination in our culture; we see so much of it we become desensitized. We see so many people on the street, it’s hard for the mind and the heart to open up to that. To really take in the fact that we are not taking care of each other. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (MLK). It matters when we “turn a blind eye”, but it’s not surprising that’s a tendency, because the heartbreak in the world can seem so overwhelming it’s hard to know where to begin. I think clear seeing is a good start. We have our ideas and we cling to them and fight for them with such passion; we’re so interested in being right and in labeling everything. I’m “this” kind of person, I’d never do “that”. Our need to define ourselves by religion or race or gender or philosophy, as if you could ever sum up a human being in a word. We create borders and say, “If you live on that side you’re this kind of person, and you believe X, Y & Z, and you’re different from me.” We’re threatened by people who think differently because we take it as an attack on our feelings, our choices, our beliefs. Until we can respect each other’s divergences and really wrap our heads and hearts around the reality that we are one family on one round planet, until we can recognize the beauty in our differences, we are going to be at war within ourselves and each other. Because this is not natural to us, this isolation. This competition. This snarky, tough exterior, this mouth full of should. We are hardwired to love each other and to care, to cooperate and to nurture. And when we repress those totally natural tendencies, we break our own hearts, and close ourselves off to our very own light. Being full of light doesn’t mean you’re in some dream world full of positive thoughts and unicorns, okay? It means you are seeing clearly what is happening around you, and you care. You extend yourself. Whatever you’ve got, whatever way you can help, you act. Spontaneously, with your heart wide open. In this world it requires courage to do that. Wishing you a soul on fire and a mouth full of yes, and sending so much love, Ally

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