"Hatred paralyzes life, love releases it. Hatred confuses life, love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life, love illuminates it." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other -- it doesn't matter who it is -- and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other." -- Mother Teresa
My heart aches for the state of the world today. There is so much chaos, conflict, hate and bloodshed going on that I can barely wrap my mind around it and accept this as the kind of world I envisioned being a part of in my lifetime. I find it getting harder to go along like its business as usual when the troubles that are erupting daily are anything but usual. What is happening in our world is frightening and deeply concerning. We seem to be hanging in a very, very delicate balance, and I'm not really sure how much more delicate hanging we can withstand. Yes, my heart aches for the countless innocent people that have suffered, and continue to suffer in Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Malaysia, not to mention other countries and their tragedies, like the school girls kidnapped in Nigeria, which is heart breaking enough, but I know that even with an aching heart, as I know so many of us feel right now, we must dig deeper into our hearts and love each other even more than we ever have before. So how do we do that when we're feeling so heavy hearted and genuinely concerned about our future?
Here are some ways each of us can make a difference with our love:
1. Tell everyone you know that you love them, and do it daily.
2. Tell people that might not be as close to you that you love them too. They might be surprised, but that's only because saying that we love one another is usually reserved for friends and family. Push your circle of love out farther.
3. Do an act of kindness for one person each day. Help a veteran, feed the homeless, give blood at the Red Cross. Don't end your day not having done a good deed for someone in need.
4. Connect with someone outside your social circle. Make an effort to know people that are not your religion, ethnicity, in your socio-economic bracket, etc. Step outside your comfort zone and be inclusive of people you might not normally include in your life.
5. Don't focus your energy on judgment of others or political opinion. Reserve it for thoughts of love.
6. Try and stay neutral about what you feel others should be doing in their difficult situations, and remain non-reactive. Let your love speak for you instead.
7. Meditate twice a day if you can, and use mantras like "We are all one," or "I am love," or "I love all sentient beings."
8. Visualize our planet teeming with love and peace. Imagine it verdant and lush with a clear, beautiful sky, and clean, blue water. See yourself as authentic to who you are, emanating Divine light, and touching everyone you meet along your path with your love.
If each of us carries love in our hearts for one another, then together we can move through this darkness of despair that is hovering over us lately. We mustn't forget that love is life, and without it, life cannot exist.