Peace for your Path...

"peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." (unknown)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


So, I was just Facebooking and Tweeting away all morning, happily sharing with others about our lovely partner charity for OurGift.Org of The Palm Beaches, and the beautiful community event we attended last night to learn even more about their fantastic mission when suddenly a Truth smacks me right between the eyes. Whack!

And my head is spinning as I sit here trying to remember how it all happened. I'll try to write it out until I understand it a little better. Here goes...

First, I saw a hateful photo on an old friend's profile page that made me catch my breath with disbelief. Then, I saw a quote on another blogger friend's page that made me laugh. Next, I read a new posting on The Charter for Compassion's page and began thinking of the mom who spoke last night at the Parent-Child Center, Inc. event about her young daughter who was bullied so much that all her hair fell out from the stress. And then the handsome teen who spoke of how he was also bullied in school, because, of all things, he had cancer.

The Charter for Compassion is based on The Golden Rule with the whole "Love your neighbor as yourself" idea. Well, maybe, I began to sense that all these mean things are happening through people to others because the people doing, saying, posting, and believing it all DO NOT REALLY LOVE THEMSELVES. They look into the mirror and they hate the person looking back, but they don't even realize that they do. They think they are standing up for their "rights," but it is more that they desperately need to feel they are right and that someone else is wrong. They need to "WIN!" They excuse their actions by telling themselves they are setting a good example by teaching others who aren't "deserving" an important life lesson, but they are instead acting completely out of their own personal fear and miserable self-hatred.

I am referring to the scowling lady behind you in the grocery line, the loud guy at the next table in the restaurant, the arrogant minister, the judgmental news host, the boisterous politician, and - especially - the terrified person looking back at you from the mirror. The violence our children are acting out on one another in our society is being modeled first in own cozy American homes. The blood is on all our hands...

What if the truth is that we really can't stand to look at the One behind our eyes? Could we be the person who is actually unloved, not at the hands of the strangers we call bullies or enemies, but rather by ourselves?

Why are you - why am I - so unlovable? Is it because of some past mistake that I cannot forgive myself for allowing to happen? Or is it a lie someone who also didn't love themselves told me about myself that I believed and made into my reality when it never (ever) was true?

If we are called to love others as we love ourselves, then it seems to me we have quite a bit of work to do. We could begin by understanding the pain within the one person whose bones and flesh and heart and mind we are borrowing and walking around with here on earth. Hating ourselves breeds hatred in others. We can't take the first step toward truly loving our neighbors until we begin to love ourselves. We can't have compassion for other people whose cultures are not our own until we first cultivate a deep passion for what it is we truly believe within our souls. And we surely can't forgive our enemies until we first forgive ourselves.

And that is what (I think) I learned today.

No comments: