Can you love Donald Trump and company? Do we need to love them in order to get a better world?
In the Mueller thread, the pain people have been feeling sparked a discussion about dealing with the feelings we have for those we feel have caused so much harm. I am moving that discussion to here, so you will now find them below. This section is for those who want to post about the difficult feelings you have towards the Twitler In Charge, his enablers and followers.
[Note: I have used the term "hatred" to describe the feelings people have about DT. The dictionary defines this term as "intense dislike or ill will. Loathing, destination, dislike, distaste, abhorrence, aversion, hostility."]
It is a worthy discussion, not just for helping individuals find the best path through this situation, but also for raising our own vibration in this world. I don't know about each of you, but I know that I struggle with this issue every time I read the news.
Sometimes I have to take a news break to stay sane. But I also feel I need to stay awake, not put my head in the sand in order to be in this world. I want to see the world as it is, and I believe there is a way to do that without being consumed with negativity.
Thanks for so much wisdom from this community.
[This post is the first post moved from the Mueller thread that was discussing the fate of the Mueller Report. -- JM]
This will be resolved over the next several months, I think. Yet people will be talking about it for years to come. The republicans are projecting all over the place. Their accusations are confessions. It will boomerang.
I live in trump country. I stay very calm and relaxed when hearing comments from his supporters. I ask, have you read or listened to the Mueller Report? When someone says he’s done good things for our country, I ask, what specifically has he done that is good for our country? I listen and I do my best to share factual information. When they say how great the economy is, I say are you aware that employees at (blank) are making $8 an hr? Can you live on earning $8 an hr? We have a well funded food pantry that is packed every week. If our economy is doing great why do we have so many people in our community in need of food, shelter and clothing? If our economy is doing great why do I have teenagers coming to the door raising money so they can have school supplies?
I attend a weekly bible study. Over the last few weeks LBGTQ has come up. I researched all scripture both Old and New Testament that are twisted and used to persecute people. I found a comprehensive study unpacking each of the verses, addressing what was happening during that period of time in history. Scripture is silent on committed relationships of the same sex. So often Scripture is taken out of context and twisted rather than looking at the entire narrative as well as the Culture, historical facts, and what specifically was going on at the time that the writer targeted oppressive, immoral behavior.
When asked if I’m a Christian, my reply is..well it depends on you mean by that. Frequently in this forum I find what informs my faith and hope for a new creation. Continually moving forward with love and light for ALL people. Supporting and helping those who are persecuted and oppressed. Things many of you write about. Language like “being saved” or “Are you a believer?” make me wanna gag. That seems more like an event than a process. Regardless of our spiritual beliefs, I think we might all agree it’s a process to be explored, tweaked and lived out. There is ongoing depth and movement in the process. Also missteps along the way. What a journey to take with others..especially others who do not think as we do. So much to learn from one another. I’m nearing 70 and I find it exciting to hang out with a younger generation of people who have caused me to look at life a bit differently. Teachers all around us moving forward in goodness, truth and beauty.
Our democracy is taking a beating. There are opportunities to glean from this. We need to continue to walk along side of each other and step by step move forward encouraging others. The only way out is through.
Brilliant Stardancer! I am a yoga practiciner (who still can't spell) We believe the light and truth are a journey within ourselves. When we successfully unite body, mind and soul. I am broken right now but working on my path back. My journey started in 1976 and will continue until my end. I have observed many born agains, including in my own family, and I noticed many can easily pick and choose the items they wish to quote from the Bible. Many choose to ignore the love thy neighbor as yourself section!
The thing about many Trumpsters is they are like him. Bullies! If you go toe to toe with them armed with the facts they sputter and get nasty. If you go toe to toe and look them in the eye and say BOO they run away.
Someone noted the other day on twitter that unemployment is low because many people are working two jobs. How is the eceonomy so great if farmers have to receive Government relief?
I agree the Reps are using delay tacktics. Guiliani going to the Ukrane to try to strong arm them into investigating Hilliary and Biden is ridiculous. I honestly believe this is all going ot backfire on them. Trump is a master blackmailer, I believe they are counting on the two new Supreme court justices he installed to save the day when all these law suits are heard. I think he might have a rude awakening. Although I am not a fan of Roberts he has proved in the past to be a man who honors the law of the land.
All of the threats the Reps are making are going to come back and bite them in the butt sooner or later. I believe the American people are basically good and will become tired of compassion being a crime. In the end Karma is going to come for them. It will take a while to sort it out because the Reps have made a mess of things. It probably won't be in my lifetime but I certainly hope Trump's downfall is.
I really resonate with a lot of what you said. I admire how you seem to maintain a certain sense of detachment as you engage with T**** supporters. I sense that you communicate with them gently but powerfully. I must admit, I don’t know if I could do that. Right now I’m at that you’re-a-waste-of-my-time stage. But I have the luxury of living in a blue, progressive county of a purple state, so I can pick and choose with whom I associate. Funny, though … as I say that, I also admit that there is enormous value in engaging with those who think so differently from you. You’re exercising your spiritual muscle. And we’re all connected in spirit. I mean, isn’t that part of being a lightworker? Why am I assuming that it should be easy?
I just read the following article which was written by a former general counsel for the FBI who was removed shortly after the new director was installed. It gives a perspective on loving those who we find very hard to love at the moment:
It is well worth reading.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!
Thank you for posting that article by Mr. Baker. I found it profound in some ways. First, the quotes from Jesus and from Dr. King were good foundations for his argument. I really can sympathize with his reasoning that carrying anger and hatred for Trump and the power of people behind him--that part of our society does allow them to live rent-free in your head and heart and weakens us. I just don't understand how to love him and those that support him. I am angry and upset at what their actions do to undermine our democracy. While vengeance may be absent, I will be satisfied with justice and nothing less. I am so angry for justice. I want justice like a dehydrated, thirsty man in the middle of the desert wants a drink of water, desires to be quenched. Curiously, I don't have the same emotions for Putin and Russia. I view them as I view a snake, it is their nature, what they do to protect and promote their nation. However, I do recognize this feeling and I felt similar intense feelings of anger to Bin Laden, Atta and their cohorts who took control of those planes on 9/11 and flew them into the Pentagon, WTC and the plane that crashed in PA--terrorists who killed so many people and my cousin. I don't walk around angry all the time however, I stay away from Trump tweets and his televised speeches because it like presses the button again. I have restricted myself to watching the news Sunday morning (once a week). I might scan a headline (NYT sends me an overview of the news every morning in my email) but I do not delve and don't necessarily read them every day. I try to focus on what is happening with the Democratic candidates. I am reading novels and cookbooks and learning about gardening and design. I am taking naps and keeping busy with work and working on my house-- sorting, discarding and organizing. So I can understand what Baker is saying, just cannot give Trump love, benefit of the doubt (I don't believe one thing he asserts - he lies all the time and by extension, don't believe any news coming out of his government/cabinet/departments-- I think they all lie to conform to his approval). I have no faith at all in the executive branch of the government nor the Republican representatives/senators. To me they are all bad actors with no conscience--just greedheads looking for personal enrichment, power and control over people who deserve by the Constitution to be free. The Judiciary is a big question still but I understand it has been filled/is being filled with corrupt idealogues and has historically been a racist institution and have little faith left for them. I shudder for our future generations.
Yes, Baba, that article is well worth the read.
The old saying goes "fight fire with fire." I get why some would think that applies in this situation. But we're not dealing with fire. We're dealing with humans and their emotions. We're dealing with hatred and darkness. You don't respond to hate and dark with more hate and dark. You respond with love and light.
We are all here to learn and teach on a spiritual level. Souls here are of varying 'ages' for lack of a better term. Some are old souls and some are young. The old are here to teach (and if old/wise enough, learn themselves from those they teach), and the young to learn. Those who are filled with hate, fear, and darkness will remain hateful, fearful, and in the dark so long as no one has shown them that there is love, peace, and light.
We don't teach kids math by repeating their ignorance on the subject, nor should we degrade them for not knowing materials that are above their grade level. This lesson is hard to apply when we're talking about human traits instead of academics.
Earlier in this thread there was talk of the Bible and how some mis-use or misinterpret it to weaponize it. This is true. Many of these folks cherry pick verses to back their opinion. Cherry picking is a well known tool to bullies, narcisists, conspiracy theorists, and others who are not well adjusted or self aware. They'll point out a single tree instead of seeing the forest. If you look closely, most of the few Biblical references to LGBTQ issues are in books authored by Paul-formerly known as Christian hating/persecuting Saul of Tarsus. While Saul saw the light of Christ and reformed, that does not mean he lost all of his animosity towards others prior to authoring his books in the Bible. Such folks can see that Numbers included dimensions for the proper place of worship, that animals with cloven hooves are not to be used as food or their skins used, or that a woman can't divorce a husband or even enter a church at specified times as old customs or prejudices, reflective of the time the book was written, not as a general directive on how to live life for all perpetuity. Yet lessons that were meant to never be challenged-like treat others how you would like to be treated, or judge not lest you be judged are tossed out only when it is self serving.
Here again, such misunderstanding of the meaning of such valuable spiritual lessons are not fully comprehended by the younger soul. This is why the older souls among us need to be steadfast in demonstrating them. The younger souls will learn. The elementary school teacher doesn't always see their pupils future academic achievements, and that's ok. It's a group effort to educate a child, from those who instill the foundation/building blocks to those who teach secondary or post secondary topics. It's not much different in the spiritual realms.
We shouldn't judge others. You never know who is the teacher and who is the student when here on Earth. Who is to say that that abrasive relative isn't in your life to teach you patience or forgiveness? Sure, it could just as easily be the reverse-the abrasive individual may be here to learn to be more loving to others by being exposed to someone loving, patient and kind. We just don't know until we leave this plane and remember what our lesson objectives were when we signed up to come here.
While it seems to all be unfolding in slow motion, and is taking far too long to correct, Mueller will testify, as will others. People who haven't read his report or reliable reporting on it will be shocked to find out what he really found and thinks. That light on the hill can't be hidden, no matter how much the administration or fake news tries. The self serving, unpatriotic ways of this administration and those who covered for him in any way will have light raining down on their darkest recesses. While many of us may never be satisfied with the consequences for some of these folks, what debt is still owed will be collected in the hereafter. It is the principle of Karma. Many of these souls will have to return to human form any number of times, till they learn the lessons they need to learn. So too will teachers return to teach them.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Light, love,and hugs to all who find themselves missing their mothers, or to all the mothers missing their children today.
Thank you for the article. I felt chills as I read it, which is always confirmation for me from Spirit that I'm recognizing truth. This past Friday I also watched a wonderful interview that Rachel Maddow had with the author of that article, James Baker. I’ve attached the interview, which is broken up in three sections. I’m not sure if you can access it without subscribing to MSNBC: https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/baker-trump-attacks-could-make-law-enforcement-hesitant-59423301822
I have similar feelings as Rowsella. I too want justice. I struggle the most with this Administration’s cruelty. Sometimes it feels too hard to take. I like Rowsella’s approach with limiting the amount of news watching, and spending time doing things that gives your life some order and joy. We need to be balanced in our day-to-day life. I actually believe that such balance can give us perspective and soften our hearts.
Regarding loving T and his followers – I find it a little easier now to love the voters who support him. I believe that their allegiance is all based in fear. But I still keep them at a distance, and can’t get into a discussion with them about it. It’s for my own health and self-preservation. I’m already physically spent with some health issues, so I don’t want to waste my energy engaging.
Regarding loving T … that’s still a tough one for me. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was unable to pray for T until one evening, while I was praying during my Silent Minute. I felt very accepting and open, and prayed that T find healing and that his heart softens. I was met with a vision of a dark cave, with an invisible barrier that nothing could penetrate. It felt awful, so I disengaged.
A thought just popped into my head. If I picture T**** as a small child, I feel very sad. He was a child once, totally reliant on his family for security, love, and acceptance. I could always love and pray for T****, the child.
I think many of us walk a knife edge between hatred and peace in the Trump era. How can we love Donald Trump? I certainly don't.
But I don't want hatred to consume me either. Not only will hatred harm me, but I could do as much harm to others if I hold on to hatred.
The Dali Lama hit the nail on the head when he said that we can't create world peace until we find peace in our hearts. And if our hearts are filled with hatred, then there's no peace.
During the French Revolution, the revolutionaries murdered thousands of people. At one point, they crowded over two thousand people onto a barge and sunk it. Fueled by centuries of injustice, that is what raw hatred can do. Then in came Napoleon, a dictator not much better than the monarchy they overthrew.
Hatred, even if justified, does not create a better world.
So what do I do with my hatred? I take a good look at Donald Trump and his enablers. A really good look. Now, I'm not going to love them at least not in my current raw state of mind. I need to calm down, take good care of myself, and step away from the stress first.
Then what I can do is to make an effort to understand and accept the conditions in them and in our world that gave way to making them the way they are.
Understanding and acceptance lead me to something I can do that is one step towards love: forgiveness. Forgiveness is the key for me to finding that inner peace. But hang in with me. Forgiveness is not saying they are okay.
Long ago I met a forgiveness guru and best selling author, Joan Borsynko. She told me that forgiveness is not condoning what someone did, but simply understanding what led them to do that.
Forgiveness is a radical acceptance of reality in which we open our eyes wide to our world and everyone in it, and we see deeply.
We may hate what happened. We may hate the pain we see people suffer at the hands of others. We may hate the behavior of some people and we may want them to pay for what they did. But if we are willing to really see our world and everyone in it, then we will also see forces that make people do the things they do. We will wake up to reality and the way life works. And awakened, we can breathe into it, which just means that we let our psyches integrate and digest that reality rather than push it away. It is, after all, our world and we have to live in it, even as we work to change it. After that we can work for change, but the changes we will make will be fair to all and non violent.
So our radical understanding of the way things are, and the forces that caused someone to do what they did, leads to acceptance. We do want to change the injustice and the cruelty. But the best way to change it is to really see clearly the way things are. Otherwise, we are likely to create an equally dark world than the one we now despise.
As for actually loving the likes of Donald Trump, the closest I came occurred when I was on a silent retreat with loving kindness guru, Sharon Saltzberg. Meditating many hours a day in a beautiful setting with kind people, I turned my gaze towards Donald Trump while in a state of love for the world. He appeared in my mind's eye as a stunted little child-man running around along with a bunch of other little stunted child-men. I can't say I felt love for him, but I felt compassion.
As for the love advocated in your post, Baba, I agree it's a supreme idea and thank you for bringing it up. It takes a lot of inner work. And self care. I want to feel that way some day.
Just my opinion, but I see nothing wrong with despising people who are inherently evil. I agree it's best not to let that consume you, but I see nothing wrong with it and in fact have been saying for a long time that much of what is happening now is (in part) related to how "modern humans" have been discounting or ignoring the presence of evil and the power it can have.
I hate Twitler, all his family and his minions. Never in my life have I ever craved violence against another living thing. Their ascendancy has changed that. I also never had violent dreams in which I am seeing the deaths of those I consider inherently evil (not even Manson or Dahmer). Not until 11/9...
Good people hating on evil? As far as I'm concerned, it's a form of self-defense and well justified. We're not the people perpetrating hatred and violence. We're not the ones carrying around loaded guns, writing online "manifestos" or chasing those who seek asylum in our midst. We're not the ones twisting the words of ancient writings to suit our own purposes. We're not the ones acting on hatred.
If you want to love on what you see as a lost soul, good for you, you go right ahead. Meanwhile I'll just keep visualizing certain heads on pikes... Sorry. Not sorry.
I think the idea in the article is one that we can aspire to. I have my difficulties being able to love someone who has done so much harm and damage to a large portion of the country and even the world. I keep finding myself praying for justice to be done to those who are hurting others and protection for those being hurt. The article was interesting in that it just gives us all another way to view the situation and try to work in an energetically positive way. As I have mentioned before, I actually think that T feeds off all of the attention and energy - both positive and negative and I, for one, do not want to contribute to the energy going in his direction. I am searching for ways to help improve the world without adding to the negative side of things,
When confronted with someone I hate, which isn't often, I try to make an energy connection with their higher self or spirit guide, and communicate my wish for the very best for the person, in ways where they can do no harm. I wish them out of my life, but in a way that's good for them. This helps me wish them out of my orbit, but without wishing them ill. The current white house occupant is testing my usual way of dealing with awful people, but maybe we should all do this. In the end, do we want revenge, or do we want him to go away and stop doing harm?
When I was a college student in upstate New York, I began attending Quaker worship services. Most Quaker services are non-hierarchical and consist of silent meditation: everyone gathers in a circle and sits pondering their own thoughts. If someone feels the divine urge to speak, they interrupt the silence and share their thoughts (this is a hard thing to do, and in the majority of Friends meetings I’ve been to, no one speaks up). But in one of the first meetings I attended, a man shared a story that was reported on by the local public radio station. I'll paraphrase the story here:
On a Friday in October, a man drove into Watertown to complete a few chores. As he was approaching his parked car to go home later that evening, a younger man stopped him, brandished a knife in front of his face, and demanded that he hand over his wallet. The older man complied, but just as the thief was about to leave, spoke up; “Wait. If you're going to be out in the cold all night trying to steal from people, then here, take my coat." The thief, disarmed by such unexpected kindness, returned the man's wallet, and was invited by his one-time victim to join him at a coffee shop. There, the younger man shared his life's story: a childhood in a broken family and abusive household, followed by learning disabilities, challenges at school, and an institutional apparatus that was focused on disciplining his misbehavior instead of repairing his childhood trauma. From there, he moved onto opioid abuse and addiction, which landed him on the streets at night, stealing from people. Having heard all of this, the older man put the younger man in touch with nonprofit drug treatment and homelessness services, and gave him his phone number with the promise that he could call him whenever he needed someone to talk to.
This story encapsulates the powers not just of love, but of insight; recognition that all of us are products of complexities and circumstances we don't have full control over, and that acknowledging those convoluted lived experiences can make a profound difference. The older man I recounted in the story above was able to see the thief for the complex, hurting human being he really was, and intervened in a way that is sure to send ripples beyond one or two particular lives. The man's actions are echoed in Joanna Macy's book Earth as Lover, Earth as Self, when she recounts a Tibetan lama who taught her that the Shambhala Warriors – the light workers that will direct human society away from self-destruction – are armed with two weapons:
“The weapons are compassion and insight...You have to have compassion because it provides the fuel to move you out there to do what is needed. It means not being afraid of the suffering of our world. But that weapon is very hot, and by itself is not enough. It can burn you out, so you need the other – you need insight into the dependent co-arising of all things. With that wisdom you know that it is not a battle between the good guys and the bad guys, for the line between good and evil runs through the landscape of every human heart (my emphasis). And with that insight, you also know that each action undertaken with pure intent has repercussion throughout the web of life, beyond what you can measure and or discern."
So I’d like to concur with Jeanne’s point: when loving a violent, ugly individual seems beyond our capacity, we should at least exercise insight into the societal conditions that have created so much hatred and ugliness. Perhaps we shouldn’t be conflating love with compassion in the first place. I feel like love is too fluffy and passive a term to describe what we’re being called on to do in this age. Being open to the world’s pain, however, actually asks something of us. It’s one thing to feel compassion for the undeniable victims: the caged children at the US-Mexico border, the imprisoned activists from Standing Rock. It takes a lot more effort and courage, however, to be compassionate towards the bigots, misogynists, and “gundamentalists” among us. Yet we have to be willing to do just that, for the law of dependent co-arising mentioned by Macy teaches us that evil people do not sprout out of the ground fully formed. Rather, evil is inculcated by our very own collective actions.
So ask yourself; what can I do to prevent more Trumps and Brett Kavanaughs from coming onto the scene? To me, that means not judging or demonizing "the other." I even cringe at epithets like “Fox-watching zombie” (the left’s dehumanizing equivalent of “lib-tard”). Instead, I try to learn about the individual stories of people who are opposed to my viewpoints. An offer of “here, have my coat” will not purge Trump supporters of all of their hate. But hate is a symptom of profound individual pain in a society built upon separation and dehumanization. To say “I’m listening, now tell me about the things that have happened to you,” might be the best way to begin healing the wounds of our paradigm of separation (truth and reconciliation commissions, like the one that took place in South Africa after Apartheid, have their origins in this practice of listening). I don’t think you need to love your opponent in order to do this. All you need is insight into causality and the recognition that everyone these days has been deprived of meaningful human connection on some level.
Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
I am not sure I can hate him.
I CAN be angry, flabbergasted, shocked, fearful and upset with him.
I recognize the evil at work. The deep darkness. I will name it and call it what it is.
Hate is just a whole other animal. I am not sure what type of situation would occur for me to actually hate someone. Perhaps there could be something but I am not sure. I find myself more like the father of the prodigal son. I would want to welcome the person back with open arms IF they saw the error of their ways and truly repented for the harm they caused. In Trump's case it would be a daunting task for him to achieve.
Now, as for loving Donald Trump. That is tricky. I think there is some form of love there, but it seems to branch off in feelings of pity and sorrow for him. He is a miserable human being, of his own creation. He has caused his own tragedy. He is the stuff of a great Greek or Shakespeare tragedy, He is an Aesop Fable with multiple cautionary chapters. He puts the Grimm in Grimm fairy tale. But, he is real. He is now. He is OUR burden.
It is the time of Trump. He has allowed evil and darkness to gain finger holds across this nation. Across the world. I don't believe one can fight darkness with hate. Since I chose to fight, I must fight with light. To fight FOR light, goodness and love.
I sit here and am reminded of the name I chose for this forum. If LOVE is to ENDURE, it must be given, seen, felt and shared. I think it needs to be FOR something and not so much against something.
My feelings about this time we are living in, on him, on where we are in the world and the roll I have the opportunity and choice to play ( for it is an opportunity and it is a choice) ...wow... lots to process here.
Their accusations are confessions <- This is so true.
About a year ago, I was trying to do past life regressions via hypnotherapy (unsuccessful). However, what was unexpected was that I started to channel. What came through (real or not....who knows) was that a lot of the people that supported Trump were hurt and angry. They were hurt because they didn't feel "special".
There are programs in place to help minorities. Black Lives Matter. LGBTQ activism. All these things helping "those" people, but nothing helping "us" and our tribe.
I get it. My high school was a minority high school (but caucasians made up the biggest minority), we had a week in the Spring called "Brotherhood" week. The idea was that each day would focus on one of the ethnic groups in the school (Mexican, Black, Polynesian, Asian) to share their culture with the student body. However, there was no "white" component to brotherhood week, and as immature teenagers, we would complain to each other about it. The other groups were "special" and we weren't. All Brotherhood week really accomplished, from our perspective, was to point out that whites weren't special.
Is this what the interior of the country and those that support Trump think? All these special interest groups representing minorities, yet no one is representing them? Then Trump comes along, bashes the elite, bashes those that don't support farmers, trashes previous administrations and blames them for the economic suffering the rust belt, blames them for the ignoring the farmers, etc. The Trumpsters are angry and FINALLY a candidate comes along and vocalizes their insecurities and says he's going to change it and make America Great Again. These supporters hadn't though of America not being Great, but now....upon reflection......Trump makes sense. Their insecure feelings, their anger isn't because they feel guilty......the insecure feelings are because America has declined and they recognized it! And it is because of those BLM people, those LGBTQ people, those Democrats! And finally, there is a guy who is rich (therefore smart and successful) FINALLY saying what REALLY happened!!!
They are misguided....so filled with anger because, deep down, they are hurt because they don't feel special.
How do we get past this? We have to figure out a way to finally kill off slavery. Kill off the mistreatment of Native Americans. Put those legacies down and to rest forever.
Then, we need to change our perspective from race to economic need. College admissions for Affirmative Action shouldn't be based on race.....it should be based on economic need. This will help poorer American families who do have the will and skill for college. This leaves AA in place, but it helps poor people of all races. Minorities still make up a great percentage of the poor, but not all minorities are poor.
I can look back and be embarrassed by my high school mindset. I can blame it on the culture in my household, but it was me who said the words. As I matured and became more worldly, I see the error of my thinking. This is why we need to be able to forgive Trump supporters, we have to give them a chance to mature and see the errors of their ways. To see it was their own fears and insecurities that drove them and that people in power manipulated their fears and insecurities for their own gain. Give them a chance to show they won't get fooled again.
I'm grateful for this particular topic. So many insightful posts from this wonderful community. I've been pondering the following question: can you have compassion without love? Or love without compassion? I'm not sure, but maybe it depends on how you define them. For compassion to exist, aren't you aware of the interconnectedness of people? And doesn't love require us to see that we are all part of the whole, the same life energy? I don't mean to get bogged down with semantics, but I've been wondering.
I can relate to Coyote's statement "I feel like love is too fluffy and passive a term to describe what we’re being called on to do in this age." It feels too sweet, too soft. As Coyote remarked, "passive." A soft response to what is now occurring in our country seems impotent -- ridiculous, even. But does love have to be passive? I don't believe so.
I love Coyote’s quotation from Joanna Macy’s book regarding compassion and insight. When I read Stardancer’s posts about her level of involvement with T***** voters as she does her community work, I see her compassion and insight into their life situations. Is that love? I can’t speak for Stardancer, but it feels like it to me.
I agree that it’s important not to judge or demonize the other. In the short run it might help me to let off some steam, but it does nothing to heal the wounds of our divisions. But it’s not always easy to do, is it? Especially during these times. We’re a miraculous, flawed, and complicated species!
I once mentioned in a post that I live in a blue, progressive county of a purple state. We have a neighborhood Saturday farmer’s market that just opened for the season. Although I don’t know for sure about their individual politics, I do sometimes make assumptions about some of the vendors, since many of them come from the redder counties of the state. I noticed that Jimmy, one of the young guys who works behind the sausage stand, had some beautiful tattoos on both of his arms. I commented on how much I loved his tattoos, adding that if I were his age and didn’t have some of my autoimmune issues, I would have a few myself. He smiled and thanked me, adding “you’d be surprised by a lot of people’s reactions.” “Like what?” I asked. Under his breath Jimmy replied “People have called me white trash.” I saw the anger in Jimmy’s eyes. “I’m NOT white trash,” he quickly added. Then I saw Jimmy's pain. As if he needed to defend himself. I replied, "they're stupid people. Don't pay attention to them." Jimmy is about 19, studying at a community college to go into law enforcement. There’s a certain intense determination about him, and a quiet strength. He’s been working this stand since high school. I overheard Jimmy tell another vendor that he’s gotten all A’s this semester. I’ve never seen him in a MAGA hat, but he proudly wears an NRA cap. I must admit that when I first saw his cap, I internally winced.
What I outwardly see is never the full picture. I hope that I never lose sight of that.
Thank you deetoo. Your probing of the definitions of love mirrors my own thought process. I think most of us on this forum would agree on some level that love is borne of acknowledging our interconnectedness as humans. Yet I also tried to don the perspective of a skeptic; someone who would read this thread and think "Love your enemy? What a bunch of hippie crock." But when we break down love into it's prerequisites - feeling the world's pain, insight into cause and effect, and forgiveness (thanks for that thought, Jeanne) - the act of loving our opponents is "de-fuzzified" and can be understood as an effortful process that requires personal growth, as Cindy so eloquently pointed out. So you're right, deetoo, love does not have to be passive.
To echo almost everyone else here; so much to ponder! Am I the only one who feels like some of these threads need to be collected in book form and printed for posterity?
deetoo, I appreciate so much of what you share in your post and throughout the forum, especially the questions. I, too have been asking myself questions, wondering and reflecting on our current circumstances.
Although I long for a new administration along with a democratic controlled senate, my heart knows that in itself will not heal the division in our country. We all need to change finding ways to heal the divisions between us.
“What I outwardly see is never the full picture. I hope that I never lose sight of that.”
I really relate to that, deetoo. So many opportunities to begin to get a clearer picture through conversations, aren’t there? We all have a story to share. I doubt there is a person I wouldn’t love if I knew their story. Having an open heart has at times meant being used and exploited a time or two. But if I err, I want to err on the side of generosity.
There are so many layers to this. Especially regarding love. Sometimes love is tough. It may require saying or making very difficult decisions that do not appear loving. Love looks like that too. It sometimes means loosing a relationship with someone who is behaving in destructive ways that would take us down with them. Loving well takes courage. Forgiveness, yes. Reconciliation is a different matter.
So many things to consider.
I am also so grateful for the insight, kindness that so many share within this forum.