I led the worship service this past Sunday at my Unitarian Universalist church. The service was about Love - about spreading Love in the world, and how in order to bring love to world, we must first truly love ourselves.
It was a good service with great music, and I received positive feedback from people who attended.
And it suddenly seemed so trivial and fruitless, to be talking about being compassionate and loving with one’s self as a way to bring compassion and healing to our world.
How could smiling at myself in the mirror or learning to embrace my failures make a difference in such an angry and violent world?
I spent the rest of Sunday holding onto that defeatism - feeling powerless and distant from myself. I had been rooted myself in the belief that peace and healing for the world must start with peace and healing in the heart. This has been the guiding principle of my work in the world for the last few years. And suddenly, I felt adrift - like I was floating away with nothing to grasp.
Thankfully, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to challenge a defeated attitude. A good night’s sleep and some potent reminders from friends via social media:
“...with each act of love, kindness and compassion our collective light will emanate far beyond our human reach in ways more powerful than any darkness and in ways that only God can fully understand.”
“Love deeply, dear ones.”
“Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
“May all beings come to know that they are loved and that they are love.”
"Let us refuse to forget that there is no them and us - just us."
"Love is a powerful force. Together we can help ease the pain."
When I got up Monday morning and saw my FB news feed taken over by statements of love and hope and conviction, I was reminded that each one of us has a voice. And if I don’t choose to use my voice because I’m feeling disillusioned or disheartened, I will only compound the problem. Our voices, taking a stand for Love and Peace, for Equality and Responsible Leadership, can make a difference. Our voices, coming together, can swell to a roar.
I received an email earlier that the Social Justice Ministry Team at my church is organizing a vigil on our town common for tomorrow night. Another friend just sent me a link to Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. I am inspired by my friends, and I am re-invigorated.
Often when my two boys get into disagreements or fights, they are quick to blame each other for whatever has occurred. And I remind each one, that while he cannot control the actions of his brother, he is in charge of the choices he makes for himself.
Similarly, I cannot control the actions of angry or hate-filled people in this world. Instead, I can harness my own power; I can choose to add my voice to the call for unity and peace. I can take a stand for safer gun regulations and responsible leadership from our Congress. I can choose love and compassion for myself, and I can share that healing energy with others.
It is not the time to give up. It is time to lift our voices, to motivate ourselves into action - so that we can bring Peace and Love and Healing to the world.
Hope and faith restored, thanks to the energy and voices of my community. I will continue my quest to cultivate the space for peace and compassion within each of us, so that the world might know the same.
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