I have been out with my closest friends since sunrise today, celebrating one couple’s new house frame, sharing coffee and laughter in what will be their kitchen as the sun peeked through the trees and naked beams. We girls extended our morning with a walk in the woods, and we marveled at lichen and moose poop, and spent numerous moments with our arms wrapped around each other in the October air, happy to be friends on this planet and in this life together. After our walk, one of the girls dropped me off at my doorstep, and we blew each other a kiss as she drove away with the top down, her hair blowing in the wind.
After 5 hours of joy with my friends, I come home to open up my computer and learn about Las Vegas. What the fuck? What the FUCK is going on in this world?
I am not cursing because I’m angry. I think people really just don’t know what to do anymore. So we stand and swear… or pray. But what to DO. We can’t just curl into a ball and shrivel up in fear. How do we counter hatred and the pain that would cause this shooter or our world leaders to point hateful words and deadly weapons at each other into crowds of people? There is only ONE solution that even begins to get at the longer answers to this complicated and fucked up situation: LOVE. You might say, “well that’s great, yoga teacher, Katie; just love everybody, and the world will be a peaceful place.” Piece of cake philosophy. NOT. I know we are going through challenging times, but these times are not unlike the past with its deadly hurricanes, tyrannical leaders, and maniacal citizens who crack and then unleash their hatred on others. But I do believe love is the answer. It will take my lifetime and longer, but if we don’t make LOVE our number one priority today and every day, then we are screwed as a race and as a planet. When are we going to learn and embrace this lesson?
Resolve to LOVE each other… and don’t just think it or feel it in your heart, be proactive: verbalize your love, hug your spouse, your kids, your best friends, your pets; take a knee and stand up for kindness and equality! Don’t just be kind to your own peeps–be kind to everyone, even if they are unkind to you (HINT: mean people are hurting! Angry people are in pain. They need kindness and love just like happy people do, and probably a lot more). And when we, ourselves, feel overwhelmed and full of sorrow or quick to point a finger in blame or feel the sting of hate in our own hearts, we need to get our noses out of these screens and find some joy and some love in the world! It’s out there–in the faces and arms of REAL LIVE PEOPLE in your life! Cleanse yourself of the news for awhile; go out and walk with a friend or a child or your dog in the woods and connect with the beauty of this planet–hug the trees, honor the sky, kneel on the ground and PRAY YOUR LOVE INTO THIS EARTH. Do it today! Do it NOW.
And here’s another clue: we can’t just pray for humility, kindness, compassion; we need to BE humble, kind, and compassionate. Quit killing that spider because it looks scary, and and stop saying mean things about other people who don’t look like you or have the same opinions as you or me. Stop it with the stupid jokes that put people down. Instead, think of how you and I can make a difference in the life of someone who is alone on this planet, who feels angry and defeated (and how about the animals out there, people?) If every person could be loved by and love others–and I mean proactive demonstrative active love–like get off your facebutt and stop talking about love and go out and BE love, GIVE love, make-a-difference kind of love, then no one would be without a home; no one would be without food or water; no one would be starving for any essential. Love could feed this planet if we would just give it freely. Imagine it!! Keep your heart OPEN WIDE and give a little love to all you meet, whether they are the same color as you or not, have the same beliefs as you or not, and even if their political affiliation is not your own. It has to start somewhere (with us), otherwise sides will just keep taking sides and we’ll never meet in the middle and find the peace we all desire.