Behind the prayer that is offered and behind the bomb that is dropped there is a human heart; heavy with grief or hardened in anger but both beating the same rhythm.
I ask us to love bigger, but it starts with me. It starts with each of us, deep in our hearts before the thoughts turn into the words that tumble out our mouths or our fingertips.
Whatever we have received in this life (or not received) there is always a moment of choice before our action of choice. It may not seem like it because things happen so quickly, our habits are so strong, our reactions so quick; but if we could slow-motion our lives we would see a reel of choices, some more important than others but each contributing to the circle of life.
I call it heart work, this hard work of listening to what we tell ourselves, questioning why we believe the way we do, and choosing the uncomfortable path of heart-opening.
Every day I'm given the opportunity to love bigger and I often fail. I close off or shut down or judge or give up, blaming the other person or the world or the circumstances. Then I remember I am the only constant in all those variables and it is I that need to choose love.
As graceless and clumsy as my efforts often are, I keep trying to love bigger, keep trying to be the change I wish to see. I can only love the stranger on the street if I love the stranger in me. I can only welcome the grief of humanity if I have welcomed the grief in my own heart. I can only listen to you without judgement if I can listen to me without judgement.
Loving bigger is a practice, not a prescription. It does not require us to be the same, but it does invite us to be unified. It does not require us to believe in god, but it does invite us to believe in humanity.
Our hearts make up this world. We individually and collectively choose to fear each other or to love each other, to see our differences or to see our sameness, to be the change or to pray for change.