In the wake of the latest of an unfathomable number of vicious attacks against every imaginable subgroup of humanity, the inevitable and understandable flood of hashtags and support icons and temporary profile pictures pledging tolerance and compassion and still more spreading hatred for the perpetrator(s). I, too, #standwithorlando, and with my LGBT brothers and sisters. I also #standwithparis and #sanbernardino.
But you won’t see these icons on my Facebook profile, nor will you see a rainbow or French flag over my photo. These are, or at the very least can be, divisions. Labels. More reasons to separate us. In a societal paradigm wherein we are continually asked (or challenged) to “identify” as one group, one ethnicity, one religion, one nationality, one sex or another, I refuse to identify as anything other than HUMAN. Of course, even this is inaccurate, as “human” is just a temporary condition; an experience undertaken by the immeasurably larger, hugely MORE spiritual being that we all truly are, but human, as a label, can unite us, if only we will embrace it to the exclusion of all others. It is for this very reason that I don’t even put my face on my profile pic. What you do see is a photo I took of a fortune cookie that states “Always accept yourself the way you are.”
If we, as a race (by which I mean the HUMAN race, not these imaginary divisions we’ve spent millennia creating and exploiting) could get comfortable with this one simple concept, all conflicts and problems would evaporate. If we could but love ourselves, unconditionally, offering and succumbing to no comparisons or false shortcomings, then we would inescapably begin to love others in the same way.
I’m trying to do my part. I do my very best to treat every person I encounter as a brother or sister. I work very hard to set aside old judgments and assumptions. It’s hard work, especially for an old former Marine who harbored more anger and hatred than you might ever believe for so very long. But you know what? The harder I try, the more I smile. Love is contagious. It’s epidemic. It’s PANdemic. The more you love, the easier it gets, and the easier it gets, the more you love. It spreads and grows like fire on a lake of gasoline, and it cannot be stopped.
Join me. Be integral to the upcoming shift. Challenge yourself to allow, to bend, and to love rather than resisting, fighting, and judging. For when your actions come from the genuine love and purity of your core self, you can never react to sudden stimuli with anger or hate. For your heart will be the only weapon you’ll ever need, and you’ll attract to yourself and your life precisely what you give. You will finally BE the change you want to see.