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I am a lover, not a fighter.
I used to be a fighter.
I fought with almost everyone every day.
I fought with myself.
I even fought with people in my dreams.
I learned what it is to fight all the time and how it eats away at you and ruins your life.
Being angry a lot is a habit.
I’m certain that on a physical, chemical level it’s also an addiction.
We get conditioned and it’s hard to stop.
Anger is always a cry for Love that is going unanswered, and unmet.
When you see an angry person know that there is only one problem, they feel cut off from the source of all Love in their heart.
When you feel angry, Love is the healer.
No one can cut us off from Love, we have to do that ourselves.
Many of us have made the decision that Love hurts.
We decide that Love is too hard.
It’s too painful.
It’s not worth it.
It’s really just that we need help finding our way back.
In my spiritual journey, I’ve come to recognize that the safest place for me is in my loving heart.
When my heart is wide open, I cannot be hurt.
When I carry a shield to protect me, I can be attacked, wounded, brought down. Every time.
When I carry a sword and shield I invite aggressors.
Those who consistently choose Love become invulnerable and that is the path spiritual students are on.
At first, this path was so unfamiliar to me. I didn’t trust it.
But like Richard Gere’s character in the movie Officer and A Gentleman, I had nowhere else to go.
I couldn’t go down that angry, bitter, hurt path one more day. There was nothing new to see, only more carnage, more disappointment, more suffering. My heart felt like a bombed-out wreck of a place.
I had to turn and go in the other direction, toward the light.
I’ve never once regretted my decision, although I’ve been challenged to my core again and again.
Although I’ve fallen flat on my face and failed thousands of times, I didn’t turn back. I did get distracted thousands of times, but I kept coming back.
Being consistently loving is discipline. It is what Michael Beckwith calls a blissapline. It takes great willingness and I cultivate that every day.
I’m a political person.
I’m an activist.
I’m an action taker.
I believe we can make the world a better place when we’re dedicated to being truly helpful for ALL and not just our own self-interest. If we’re not working for the good of all, whatever we’re building will surely crumble and fall. Especially now, in the time of instant karma.
There seem to be many currents in this rising tide right now.
There seem to be many factions and many agendas.
Who is trustworthy?
Who has the good of all at heart?
Who is not motivated by their own self-interest?
It can be difficult to discern.
It can feel impossible.
So, I turn to myself and decide:
I am for the good of all.
I am trustworthy.
I am one with all.
And, I know this: I am not a fighter. I am a lover.
When I was a child I became obsessed with Harriet Tubman. She was the most amazing person I’d ever heard of. A liberator, they called her Moses because she led her people out of the wilderness of slavery. I still think she’s the most extraordinary person I’ve ever known of. What a strong-hearted being. To go back into slave territory again and again. To make that hard journey, hunted by dogs and chased by angry men so much bigger than her with gone, in order to be able to offer Freedom to her brothers and sisters. Extraordinary.
In the early 1980’s I read Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography and fell in Love again. Another liberator who learned the power of Love, holding onto truth, satyagraha. He became profoundly inspired by Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the practice of nonviolence became the tool of liberation for the people of India.
Gandhi inspired Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who traveled to India to study and learn about nonviolent powerful liberation tool of the heart. As we all know, his work and the work of those who stood beside him changed our world forever.
Rev. King had a mentor. Rev. James Lawson was his mentor and the teacher of many who led the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He has been teaching people to lead nonviolent protests ever since then. He was my teacher for several years in the late ’90s. The training I received from him has been invaluable to me.
I’ve had extraordinary blessings in my life. And no blessing has been as great as the blessing of my own awareness and ability to change my mind. The greatest blessing I have is my willingness to turn away from darkness and to choose Love.
In the years since the 2016 presidential election, I’ve become politically active again. The rise of hate speech, hate crimes, and racist rhetoric is intolerable to me. I cannot bear it. I cannot be silent.
Racism, sexism, ageism, classism, and economic injustice, are built into our culture and systems at every level. There is hypnotism that has been perpetrated and we have gone along with it. The whole thing must break apart in order for us to rise.
And I will never, ever advocate for violence.
Violence does not solve anything and it never will.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only LOVE can do that.”
~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are Love. That is what we are.
It is always the perfect time for us to teach only Love,
because that is the truth of our being.
Everything else is false.
My way is to teach and practice an active loving.
I teach prayer.
I teach going to God for the healing.
I teach the end of separation thinking that is the foundation of all racism and inequality.
I teach unity of all life.
I am not a fighter. I am a lover.
In the last year, I was getting constant messaging from democratic political candidates, asking if I was willing to fight. I was on call lists because of my donations and my willingness to work for change.
Over and over again I got emails, texts, and calls, asking if I would fight for these causes I believed in.
My answer is and was NO. I will not fight for change.
Gandhi taught us so well that the ends are in the means.
If we think we can get to Peace and Harmony by means of fighting we’ve lost our minds.
I work for change.
I work for Peace and Harmony.
I don’t fight for them.
I’m a lover, not a fighter, in part, because I’ve seen that Love is the only thing that can bring permanent healing. Fighting won’t ever be able to do that and I’m interested in being truly productive. I’ve wasted enough of my life fighting and I just can’t do it anymore. It’s not helpful.
In my lifetime, I’ve seen the extraordinary results that nonviolent protest and revolution can bring. Just in recent years, we’ve seen the biggest peaceful protests in the history of the human race. Wow!
We can accomplish so much when we channel the upset in a productive way and work for the changes we’d like to see. It must start with our inner work of choosing to work FROM a loving heart.
If we feel enraged, we must do the inner work to heal that so we can be helpful to others.
Love is the power of King’s work and message that still lives today.
Love was the soul force that Gandhi taught us the power of.
Love is the reason that we still are so inspired by the teachings of Jesus.
We work from our heart with Love, in order to increase the flow of Love in our lives, and then we are profoundly productive, and the benefits are felt by all.
So much is possible when we are able to extend Love.
I know it’s not easy. I know that. I’m not living on a cloud somewhere in a magic castle with unicorns. (Although I’d like to have a vacation home there, for sure!)
Every day I work and speak intimately with people who are having the most profound challenges of their life. People who are stepping around bodies on their way home from work. People who are listening to sirens and helicopters all day. People who are ill or whose loved ones are ill. People who’ve lost loved ones to suicide, illness, accidents, and on and on.
And it’s all that experience with so many people, going through the very worst times of their entire lives, that has taught me that Love IS the way. There is no other way worth traveling.
This world is an amazing place.
I’ve hated it, I’ve loved it, I’ve felt tortured by it, I’ve felt confused by it.
It’s incredibly challenging and complex to be part of this human race on earth right now.
There are so many illusions, delusions, concepts, and perceptions that are all coming up for healing at once.
Our #1 priority is to choose Love.
Loving ourselves is #1.
When we love ourselves, then we have found the power within us to move the mountain outside us.
Each day, all day, we look for the most loving choices we can find and choose that. That’s our way. We teach ONLY Love, for that IS what we are. When we fall down or forget, we get up, we remember. We cultivate the willingness to be loving by forgiving ourselves for being unloving and we begin again, and again and again.
Most of us are playing small.
We shrink back from living our dreams.
We hesitate to go for it.
We play small in our relationships and in our workplace.
We avoid the challenges that will really stretch us.
We say we’d go for it if we had this or that but we don’t have it so we can’t go for it.
We make excuses.
Fear gets in the way.
We say we don’t have enough time, resources, whatever we believe we lack.
The truth is that we play small because we don’t really believe we can have a breakthrough. We feel unworthy and not good enough. We fear finding out that there’s something wrong with us and we don’t really have what it takes. We fear failure so we don’t try.
Every reason that we play small can be eliminated.
Every reason we play small is a false belief.
“Our greatest ability as humans is not to change the world, but to change ourselves.” Mahatma Gandhi
Changing our minds is our greatest ability and response-ability.
I played small for a long time and it was so painful.
I developed habits of managing and coping with my discomfort.
And then I had those habits to deal with and eliminate and it became like pushing a boulder up a mountain.
I support spiritual students to undo those patterns of playing small so they can live the life of Love that they desire. So they can be truly helpful in all areas of their life. So they can fulfill their heart’s desires and their destiny.
It does require a willingness to LOVE OURSELVES.
The answer is within us and it’s not outside of us.
We don’t play small because of the world, we play small because of our beliefs about ourselves in relationship to the world.
Watching people’s lives expand and grow because they do this inner work and stop playing small is a great joy.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. It’s a wild ride. I wouldn’t wish to miss it and I wouldn’t wish to do it without YOU!
If you feel like you might be playing small because of your beliefs about yourself, if you think maybe those beliefs are false and could be eliminated, and if you have a willingness to do some inner work to make a real and lasting change then please consider joining me and some other folks just like you who are SO DONE WITH PLAYING SMALL.