I originally planned a post for this month based on the theme “American as apple pie” and how we view food in our families and culture. However, in light of the recent and ongoing violence occurring across the nation, I decided to focus on something closer to my heart. As a first responder to a mass shooting several years ago, my heart reacts deeply to random acts of violence and the far reaching impact it has on victims, their families and our communities.
In a recent conversation with a mentor, we reflected together that the antidote to violence and injustice of any kind is compassion. In other words, when we are confronted with the madness of hatred and boundless fear, relief comes from love. Change emerges with loving action. Fear is transformed in the arms of love. Hatred melts in the face of love. To quote Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, it cannot be killed or swept aside.” Love is the driving force, the very rhythm, of life.
I strongly believe we have a choice in how we respond or react to any situation. Often, our knee-jerk reaction is to fight or flee, which may lead to more hatred, feelings of defensiveness, and finally an attack. If we allow ourselves to step back and observe the brokenness in others and recognize the brokenness in ourselves, we have the option to respond with love. This may show up in helping someone who is helpless; forgiving someone who has wronged us; listening rather than demanding we be heard; standing up for what is right and good; holding on to hope when it feels like all hope is lost. These acts of compassion are born of a steadfast faith in the idea that love does conquer all.
How to Increase Love in Your Life
- Pray or meditate with a focus on loving kindness
- Get involved in an organization that supports your values and beliefs (work towards good not against anything)
- Do random acts of kindness for yourself, those you love and those you do not know. This will deepen the ability to choose love and increase your ability to respond from that place
Support on the Path to Wholeness
If you, or someone you know, have or has been affected by violence, injustice or other harm the Center for Vitality and Balance can help.
Therapy is a safe space to tell your story and to begin to heal from any pain that you have or are experiencing. If symptoms of anxiety or depression appear in response to events in your life, please call (630) 286-0993 today for a consultation and start your journey towards peace.
Healing Touch can help process trauma held in the body. A gentle and powerful energetic therapy, Healing Touch may assist you in release emotional tension and increase your peace and well-being. Starting this month, Healing Touch appointments are available for remote or distance healing.