The 1 Simple Rule to Really Loving Others
I am stunned, horrified, reeling from the recent tragedies and the lives lost in Baton Rouge, Saint Paul, Dallas, Orlando. The senseless violence is grievous and appalling. How does a nation so advanced, so outrageously blessed, stoop to such upheaval and gruesome ruin?
We are hurting, mourning, fearful, confused, grappling, angry.
I am grieving and shaken.
How do we rise above so that we can use our voice to speak life and elevate our brothers and sisters? How do we counter the oppression, the injustice, the division, the hostility, the anger, the tension, the fear?
The only antidote is love. A choice to love unconditionally, purposefully.
The only way to love others is to BE love. Jason Goldberg said, “Being love creates more love.”
We start by loving ourselves.
Because the love we have for others is limited only by how much we love and value ourselves.
We have to receive it, embody it, let it infuse every fiber of our being, and share it to elevate others.
My grandma, Sally Montagne, 86-year-old golfer, and selfless caregiver to my very sick grandfather – her husband of 66 years – said this about being love, loving herself, and giving selfless love: I care for him because I love him. I play golf because I love the game, and it gives me energy and pumps me up so that I can be my best.
Her value for herself gives her vibrancy, youthfulness, joy, and the emotional and physical strength to do what not many people could do at her age, and has added years and quality of life to the person she loves the most.
We have to value ourselves, take care of the precious treasure that we are, and lift each other with voices of love that unite us.
We need understanding of our common humanity and compassion for our fellow man.
Because in a world where we’re polarized by labels of who’s right and whose wrong, only see victims and oppressors. We have to make someone wrong, blame something, get angry, and fight back.
And then we become the hatred, bitterness, turmoil, and blame, and we’ve become the perpetrators of more violence and more pain.
Marshall Rosenberg, author of Nonviolent Communication, and founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, and Stephen Palmer write about our own unskillfulness in meeting our own needs is what causes aggressive, violent, harmful behavior. We each need safety, love, belonging, accomplishment, pride, respect, and being seen. When we can’t find a way to meet those needs, we act out in fear.
The real enemy is fear. It’s not each other.
Fear is the opposition that seeks to smother our voice, paralyze us, and render us useless.
Let’s put down all our defenses that we build in fear, and step out bravely into seeing people for who they really are: humans with hopes and dreams and fears and a voice and a purpose. An undeniable, unquenchable purpose.
And every single one is precious. Valuable. Sacred.
We cannot be silent about the things that matter. We don’t win by ignoring the pain. We can’t be immobilized by fear.
We overcome by love. Seeing the best in others, and honoring them.
Start a movement of love. Be love. Because your purpose matters.
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