It is easy to love life and everyone and everything around you when the path forward seems brilliantly lit and clearly marked,
when you are surrounded by loved ones, friends, and people of like-minded thinking,
when the brightness of the heavens seems to be shining its glory all around you,
when life is flowing peacefully, without trial or tribulation.
But, how about when it's not?
What happens when your world comes crashing down because of a health crisis, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the break-up of a relationship, a horrendous accident, or financial woes?
And what about when multiple stressors seem to pile up all at the same time, AND a pandemic just so happens to be occurring at the exact same moment? And let's say your best friend suddenly disagrees with you, or your co-worker says some not very nice things about you? Or your boss berates you for something you don't think is your fault, and your teenager disagrees with your rules and is rebelling? Or you discover your spouse may be being unfaithful, and your neighbor's dog keeps pooping in your yard over and over again?
How do you rise above anger, heartache, resentment, despair, and feelings of inadequacy or injustice and still manage to operate from a place of love?
Where do you go with the dark, ugly emotions of life, and how do you find the tunnel with the light at the end when you feel as though you can barely put one foot in front of the other?
How do you dry your tear-soaked wings and vibrate them and yourself at the frequency of love when all around you it feels like love is dying, like hope is lost, and like your heart might literally break from grief, loss, exasperation, anger, or disappointment?
I know you know what I'm talking about. We've all been there. Many are in this space right now. These are the times when loving is really hard! Heck, let's face it, these are the times when living can feel like a monumental task, let alone loving.
But here's the thing we must always remind ourselves:
Learning real love, the really gut-wrenching hard kind -the kind I believe we are here on earth to learn- often requires us to practically face-plant into the ugly and overwhelming and despairing.
Because it's the hard, demanding, unexpected stuff that tends to bring us face to face with our own negative emotions -with those parts of ourselves that are most in need of revelation, fine tuning, and reworking so we can see who we really are, learn what we are next meant to learn, and discover who we are next meant to be.
It's the heavy emotions like anger, resentment, fear, grief, guilt, and feelings of injustice that life places before us, ultimately I believe, to teach us how to love and forgive, both ourselves and others.
It's these same difficult lessons that usually teach us about faith, and about trust in the power of the good to usurp the bad, of the light to overcome the dark, of life's joy to balance out the sorrow, of love to win the battle.
These lessons reveal to us who we are in our essence...which IS the very love that is also the seemingly elusive answer we seek.
You see, we learn how to love, to truly love,
not when things are easy,
not when life is rosy,
not when we are dancing in joy or basking in success.
Rather, we learn to love when there is trial and error and hardship at play,
when there is fear and anger and forgiveness that must be traversed,
when what is before us feels enormous, overwhelming, and undoable.
We learn how to live life with love leading the way when love feels most absent,
when our heart hurts the most,
when despair threatens to carry us away,
when we finally accept that there is a mountain we must climb, commit to climbing that mountain, and choose not to give up during that climb no matter what we encounter along the way.
That is when we learn to navigate in a new way,
That's when we learn yet another meaning of love.
That is when we rise above the ego.
That's when the light finds us and we radiate in unison with her energy, her forgiveness, her resolve, and her peace.
That is how we heal ourselves, and by our unseen interdependence, also the world at large, using love.
When we cultivate a mindset of caring for our own emotions, it can and will go a LONG way toward improving the overall climate of emotions (the vibration) in the world around us.
We have far more reach beyond self than we can begin to imagine. Like dominoes that tumble one after the other when placed near each other, how we choose to react to any given situation has far-reaching, vibrational implications.
We are, quite simply, powerful agents of change in the world...far more powerful than we give ourselves credit for, and far more powerful, perhaps, than the human mind is capable of grasping. Do you believe in 'the butterfly effect?' I do!
We traverse the difficulties of life by allowing the tumultuous waves to thrash us about, and at times the stormy seas to threaten to consume us.
We ride the rough waters looking for the way out, contemplating our life, our choices, and our decisions, and searching for answers until one day the sun pops out, the turbulence subsides, and we suddenly understand what we heretofore could not or were not previously ready for.
We become like the cream that rises to the top,
like the bar of soap that bobs and floats on the water's surface,
like the surfer who rides the waves with eloquence and beauty.
We have forgiven, overcome, risen to the challenge, done the hard work, solved another problem, discovered something new, been enlightened with new understanding, been gifted another piece of the beautiful puzzle of exactly who we are.
In turn, we radiate with a new-found glowing gratitude and the light that is love.
We learn to trust ourselves, our feelings, our choices.
We learn we have more stamina and fortitude than we knew.
We learn we can rides the waves, knowing we'll find clarity and homeostasis on the other side.
We learn resilience and forgiveness and how to let go and trust the journey to lead us home to our innermost self.
Achieving the love we want to see in this world begins with each of us being that love.
We must be willing to walk the difficult path every single time the choice is placed before us, which, let's face it is usually more often than we like.
We must consciously choose to reach for understanding, for compassion, for growth, for grace, for forgiveness, even when it feels impossible.
We must choose to believe in humanity and the underlying forces at play that are not always clearly evident on the surface.
We must choose, over and over and over, to walk away from the darkness of judgement and stand squarely in the light of love.
It is not easy.
But it becomes easier the more we choose to do the work; the more we choose to answer the question, 'what would love do in this situation?'
Choose to be the love you already are.
Walk the walk; get back up when you fall.
Talk the talk; try again when you falter.
Forgive, forgive, forgive...yourself and others.
Be willing to learn, to unlearn, and to relearn; to be enlightened by new revelation; to be reborn over and over and over in the healing power of love.
Commit to being a lifelong learner, not a static, inflexible being who wants to believe you already have all the answers.
Open your heart to your power to be the kindle that lights the hearts of everyone you come in contact with.
Then watch Love spread all around you like wildfire.
Here's to discovering
our worthiness and our light,
to committing to the understanding and accessing of the living, loving energy of which we're all a part.
Here's to changing the world, starting with a dive deep within the self, with Love leading the way.
Here's to the ultimate power of Love to transform.
I hope you choose love, every single time, and when you fail, I hope you pick yourself up, forgive yourself for your human shortcomings, and try again. You don't have to be perfect; you simply have to want to be better and the opportunities will present themselves.
Like I tell the preschoolers I teach each and every day, 'Never say you can't; always say you'll try.'