A Difficult Season for Loving
Thought Cookie: Edition 28, Vol. 3
Under a scorpio sky, cancer rising
I step onto the deck
to capture the reflection
of the stars, the sliver of the moon,
the always moving sea
And be reminded I am
but a drop.
I love you,
This has been a difficult season for loving people.
I don’t mean the individual people who are closest to me.
I do mean the people distant from me, the ones who oppose what I believe in, or who represent an ideology I find threatening.
I mean the people I feel drawn to point angry fingers at or hurl ugly comments toward.
The people who inflict violence of word or deed.
The “them” it’s so easy to demonize.
I believe we are called to love all of the people.
The ones closest to us AND those we hold at arm’s length, observe from a distance or hear about in the media.
Most times I don’t want to heed that call. I don’t want to apply love to something that engenders darker feelings. I feel more comfortable judging or distancing or condemning those people.
We recently went on a trip where I was forced to be with many different kinds of people, up close and personal.
Before we went on this trip, I had my armor up and screwed tightly in. I was ready to judge and to ‘other’ these people. I was prepared to be annoyed and agitated by their obliviousness, by their different points of view, by their aggravating behaviors.
Instead, I fell in love with them.
I didn’t get to know any of them directly or too personally, just observed them in a variety of situations, over a longer period of time, and in a variety of contexts.
Here’s what I observed: families delighting in one another’s presence, performing acts of care and kindness for one another. Parents tending to their children. Children tending to their grandparents. Teenagers squealing with joy and being rambunctious and silly. Adults crooning off-key their favorite songs during karaoke to a crowd of people cheering them on. Friends dancing and laughing and opening their hearts to one another.
I heard a lot of thank yous and you’re welcomes and after yous and witnessed so many people just quietly being together, taking comfort in one another’s presence.
I saw strangers make new connections to one another.
I witnessed and took part in passing conversations, light and sweet.
I watched people breathe and unwind and relish a moment of being away, of being together.
I remembered, with a fuller heart, that we are more alike than we are different.
After these last two and a half years, there is a real hunger for loving one another.
It might not always look that way. It might not always feel that way, but I do believe that to be true.
The hunger for loving one another is stronger than the hunger for hate.
I must believe that.
The desire for hate is a burst of a flame, its fuel-source quickly running out.
I must believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. had it right when he said “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
And I must believe that it also bends towards love.
I have a lot of days when I don’t know what to do with all of the emotions that rise up in me.
I feel drawn, again and again, to lose hope, to stay in bed, to anesthetize myself with comforting distractions, to become embittered.
I also feel compelled to do more, I shame myself for not taking enough action.
But I want to remember this lesson from my trip.
That what we all want is love. To love and to be be loved.
I want to remember that I can do that, in so many different ways, with strangers and with the people I hold closest to me.
I want to align myself with the most powerful force in the universe: love.
I want to see through eyes unencumbered by fear and distrust.
Did this Thought Cookie touch your heart?
If it did, will you share it?
My intention is to grow Thought Cookie to a readership of about 100 this year. Every person who comes along on this journey is special to me. Sharing these Thought Cookie posts is the best way of inviting others who aren’t aware of them along for the ride.