I don’t generally bring up politics or religious opinion and commentary on this blog or in my metaphysics ministry. That being said, socio-political events that happened in the U.S. over the weekend left me shaken and in need of healing. Some of you may be feeling the same and I am breaking my no politics rule so that I can shine light on the hate, fear and terror rally that happened in Virginia over the weekend.
This situation went far beyond political party, candidates, and reasonable differences we humans have in life and about life. This was blind, raging hatred and soul crushing fear manifested in a horrific display of terror. Weapons strung around fake military uniforms, distorted faces screaming chants of hate, brandishing flags belonging to long defeated terrorist governments, and seething threats of violence and murder. We call these people Nazis, kkk members, white nationalists, white supremacists – they call themselves christian patriots and the rightful rulers of the American kingdom.
In truth, they are the physical manifestation of decades of fear mongering and using negativity to win elections, sell stories, gain viewers and control the masses. They are fear. The rally was meant to cause fear. The resulting violence and murder was the explosion of the powder keg of hatred lit by that fear.
And we watched this unfold. The police watched this unfold. Our leaders watched this unfold. Had this been any other group of humans behaving in this way they would all be dead or in jail from s.w.a.t. or military intervention. No other group in the USA would be able to protest with guns. No other group in the USA would be able to sing out in unison their desire to kill others. No other group in this country can exhibit such a public display of hostility and heated passion and walk away from the scene unscathed from law enforcement. But this group did.
We ask ourselves why? Why is this group of hate-mongering terrorists allowed to openly threaten the lives and safety of other Americans? Where are the s.w.a.t. teams in riot gear beating and tazing and arresting these torch carrying and gun wielding terrorists? Where are the tanks and guns and the water cannons that were unleashed on the peaceful Native American protesters? How about arresting them for disturbing the peace? Terrorist threats? Trespassing? Pretending to be an officer of the law? Instigating violence?
Few arrests were made. Even the president of our country chose to underscore the criminal behavior and terrorist activity of the hate groups involved in the rally.
Why? Why to we punish and degrade Americans who protest for equality, peace, civil rights, fairness and justice for all – but sit quietly as unmitigated xenophobic violence unfolds? How can hatred like this be allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged?
Ugh! The unfairness of it all! The injustice! They deserve to rot in hell! Oh, yes – we are perfectly right to hate these people. We are perfectly right to judge them and want them gone. We have the right to be angry and enraged by the system that has encouraged and permitted this kind of terrorist event to unfold. We feel helpless! We are incensed! Doesn’t it just make you want to scream! To hit something! To DO something!
If you’re not angry then you aren’t paying attention…
…and there it is. There is the goal of the rally seeded right there in you mind and in your emotions. Anger. Fear. Hatred. Violence. Division. They win. Hate wins. Fear is champion.
As the great Jedi Master, Yoda, once said, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Why our leaders and police and society have allowed something like this to rise up is complicated and goes back longer than the USA has been a country. And, honestly, would any geo-political explanation make you feel any better? The simple reason is that our leaders, our police, and our society is jam-packed with the same fear these terror groups feed on. It’s not right. It’s not just. It just is.
And you’ve got to stop hating and being angry about it.
I’m not asking you to have sympathy for terrorists. I am not asking you to excuse hatred and fear-mongering and injustice. But, can you see now just how easy it is to walk the path of fear and hatred? Even if you feel justified in your hate (who doesn’t?) – even if they deserve your hate and contempt (they do!) – who is the one suffering with that emotion? Who pays the price for your outrage and consuming anger?
You do, sweetheart. You do.
And guess what else?
Your anger, fear, hatred and outrage is modeled to your friends, family, children, community and passed on to everyone around you and encourages more fear, more hate, more anger and more outrage.
Where does it ever stop?
It doesn’t. The path of fear and hate never ends, it only widens.
But, the really great news is that you have a choice not to go down that road. You have the ability to reach higher ground. You don’t even need to ignore these terrorists or shut off the news or go live in a cabin in the woods to do it. Right this minute, wherever you are, whatever is going on around you – no matter the chaos or energy – you can choose your path in every situation as they come up.
This other choice? This thing that will rescue you from hate and fear? This path that can change your life?
L. O. V. E.
Love is the absence of fear and hate.
A Course in Miracles says we can either live in fear or we can live in love, but those two energies never intersect and so we can never live in both. In every situation in your life you can make the choice to live in fear or to live from love.
Sure – we can feel fear momentarily – like when we see a spider or a scary scene in a movie. That’s feeling afraid, not living in fear. We get over that minute of fear rather quickly. One is a fleeting emotion. The other is a way of life.
For example, I have a family member who lives in fear. He is constantly warning others of dangers; he worries about what others think and how they judge him; he excessively gives unsolicited advice; he is a super control-freak; he dislikes people who are not like him; he sits on high in judgement of others; he is narcissistic, angry and cranky man who lacks all sense of humor. He is a miserable, hateful, joyless human being.
What does he fear? Loss of privilege. Loss of control. Loss of power over others. Loss of his freedom of choice. Loss of his life being exactly the way he wants it without interference from anyone. Loss of ego. Loss of his beliefs. Loss of the way he fits in to the world. Loss of his ideal of how life is supposed to be. Loss of his way of survival.
Do you see a pattern there?
Change. He is afraid of change in status quo. He is afraid he can’t survive a different way.
Is this possibly the same fear that is inherent in terror groups?
Maybe. And, that is no excuse!
But, it illustrates to you why you have to make a choice other than fear and hate.
I’m going to let you in on a little religious philosophy of mine as well – something I would normally never do. Being raised as a Christian, I learned about heaven and hell growing up. I’m going to tell you how I view heaven and hell – Heaven is living from love; It is freedom; It is peace; It is joy. Hell is fear; Being afraid to live; Being afraid to love ; being afraid to change; Being angry; Being miserable. Living in fear is hell on Earth. Why would anyone choose that path if they knew there was another choice they could make?
So, how do you choose to live from love?
First, you choose NOT to hate. This is the biggest factor in living from love. Choose not to allow yourself to get caught up in and dwell on negative feelings about a situation. You will feel negative emotions about things – catch and release them as soon as you can.
Notice your inner-thoughts. When a thought of hate comes up – feel it, see where it comes from, and choose to let it go. Choose not to be ruled by fear emotions.
Second – and this is so very hard – see through the eyes of kindness and compassion. It sounds impossible with a situation like this weekend. It is really difficult even for the most seasoned spiritual practitioner to do sometimes. It’s okay. Recognize that you are a work in progress. Honor your journey. And as soon as you can transmute negative feelings in to something positive, do so. I get this hard – I’m a recovering rage-aholic. It is not easy to stop being angry and stop hating in a situation like what happened this weekend.
Do not place negative feelings like shame or guilt on yourself for appropriate reactions to these kinds of situations. Anger and fear are natural emotions. Guilt and shame just pile on top and make it even more difficult for you to come through the experience with love and compassion. Recognize how you are feeling, have compassion and forgiveness for yourself, and release negativity as soon as you can.
Kindness and compassion aren’t about excusing behavior or releasing these folks from punishment and justice. It’s not about trying to “like” these folks. No, it isn’t about understanding where a person “is coming from” after he plows through a crowd of people and kills a young woman. It is about allowing yourself to respond in a calmer, less emotionally charged, more productive manner. It’s about doing the least harm to yourself while supporting the victims of these people and seeking justice for the crimes committed. It’s acting with the knowledge that adding more hate to the situation does not help or heal and that kindness and compassion just might.
Third, let it go and move on as soon as possible. I don’t mean forget. I don’t mean, give them a pass. I don’t mean to let someone else deal with seeking justice. Don’t dwell every thought on the injustice. Don’t consume your thoughts with how to respond to this event. Fill your life with the love and joy you normally would and do not let these people rob you of one minute more than necessary.
Fourth, be a beacon of light and love for others. Lead the way in your community of friends and family. You can be strong and support justice in this situation in a way that is peaceful and loving and others will notice. Your calm and healing energy in the face of fear and hate can affect the way others react and respond. You choosing a kind and compassionate way to fight fear and hate will model love for everyone you are around. Others will follow your lead. Others will be healed. Others’ hate and fear will be transmuted in to love and compassion.
An important thing to remember here, in the day of social media, is that some people just like to start fights. If you are using Facebook and Twitter to send messages of love and hope, there will be some who will respond to you with hate and fear. Know when not to engage, even with kindness and compassion, with certain people who comment and start arguments on social media. There really are trolls who will fight and argue about everything and they seem to have fun getting people spun up. These kinds of people who spin hate are no better than the terrorists who incite fear. Not every comment on your posts need to be answered or defended. Don’t feed the trolls. Know when someone is really trying to have a conversation versus someone who just wants to make you mad, no matter what they have to say to do it.
And, finally, follow a self-care routine to keep your stress reduced and your body maintained and your emotions supported. This can be exercise, a good diet, keeping hydrated, using essential oils, healing with Reiki or crystals, spending fun time with friends, talking about how you feel with a coach or partner, and doing the things in life that bring you joy and happiness.
It feels hard to be happy and joyful in this crazy world sometimes. I get it. And for a few hours this weekend, I was as angry as anyone about what was going on in Virginia. I chose not to stay there. I chose not to let those people rob me of my life and my joy and my happiness. Am I going to let them off the hook and stop asking that justice be served? No way. I’m just not going to be angry when I write to my Senators.
And my main mission will be to soften hearts instead of adding hate fuel to the fire.
Make that choice for yourself – for you and your health and happiness, and for the world.
Light and Love Friends