I was feeling overwhelmed, like there is no justice in this world, like I had no control to do anything about it. I sat at my altar and prayed, asking, how do I best serve humanity? As I sat there a memory returned of Mister telling me our highest purpose is to love. And with the perfect synchronicity that is God at work in the world, articles and information on the power of love came flooding into my awareness.
The first, and most impacting, was a Ted Talk by Valeria Kaur, an American civil rights lawyer and activist. Her topic, Three Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage began with a vivid description of her personal labouring process in birthing her son, which she used as a framework for the themes of the fire of pain and the determination to push through.
Kaur described her reaction to 911 and the murder of her uncle in the aftermath. She talked about forgiveness. She spoke about feminism. Referring to a diagram that outlines the expression of revolutionary love towards ourselves, towards the ones we love, and even towards our opponents, she encouraged us to see the wound in the ones who hurt us. She ends with the question, “What if this is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?” and the invitation to breathe and push with a Warrior’s heart and a Saint’s eyes, to be a part of a future waiting to be born.
I was reading The Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Este and was taken aback when I read the section titled The Boundaries of Rage and Forgiveness, central words in the Ted Talk I had just viewed. Pinkola put forth the idea that the release of rage is required and can be a teacher if allowed.
“We can use the light of rage in a positive way, in order to see into places we cannot usually see… We can learn from it and transform it.” Pinkola suggests that once we recognize it, bless it, contain it and release it, rage can impel groups or individuals into dialogue and action towards accountability, progress and improvements.
Later that day I picked up my copy of Warrior Goddess Training and to my delight the next chapter was titled Open Your Heart. Heatherash Amara discusses the healing practice of Metta; the ancient Buddhist meditation of loving kindness. The practice involves visualizing during meditation sending loving kindness to a family member or friend, to an acquaintance, to yourself, and finally, to someone you dislike.
Heatherash also refers to the Hawaiian poem of forgiveness, Ho’oponopono:
I love you
Please forgive me
I first made acquaintance with this simple yet powerful sentiment when I attended Dance Church in Victoria, BC with my daughter. It seems perfect to be reminded of the wisdom in the words of this prayer now.
Praying led me to open my bible. In Matthew it says, “love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you” and in Mark, “and if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them.”
Toltec wisdom states, “Our true nature is happiness, freedom and love; when we master love, intent and faith we master the dream of our life.” The road to mastering the dream is not easy, but you can begin to change the world by changing your own life, recognizing you have both the choice and the responsibility.
Pema Chodran, a Buddhist monk and spiritual leader, urges us to choose to cultivate love rather than anger. She also postulates that it is necessary to recognize your kinship with others. On the subject of rage, Pema encourages us to use the tools of meditation and loving-kindness to access the tenderness of an awakened heart, to see behind the hardness of rage and not allow it to harden our hearts.
On Super Soul Sunday Oprah talks about making the world a better place by extending yourself in loving kindness with an open heart. Similarly, she advocates that healing the world starts with healing you.
Alana Fairchild dedicates in her introduction to the Sacred Rebels, “to those who aren’t afraid to rattle cages… from a place of loving service to the spiritual evolution of humanity… (to) create a world that is fully awakened to love.”
I’m not going to delay any longer. I’m going to start now.
I send loving kindness to someone I love; to my Mister, David.
You are patient and kind
You tell me it is going to be okay
And somehow it is, inside of your love,
A love more pure and divine than any I’ve known.
Your love has been the greatest gift of my life.
Your love has taught me love’s power and
Has propelled me to be my best,
To fulfil my purpose, which is as yours; to love.
I send loving kindness to an acquaintance; to Diane.
I send loving kindness to myself.
I send loving kindness to someone I dislike; to Nancy.
I send loving kindness to all of humanity; I send loving kindness to you.
So yeah, I’m feeling radical, ready to channel my rage through the power of love.