For the last week I have been paying a lot of attention to human thought, turned human behavior, as a result of the election. While it’s an obvious outcome of who won, I found it more fascinating to take a back seat during the roller coaster ride and simply observe the whirlwind of emotions following the decision. And I totally get it. I’ve lived every one of those feelings at some point in my life.
What I noticed in behavior, for both good and bad, does not shock me. The truth is, some people just haven’t learned what’s right versus what’s wrong, correctly. And really, it’s hard to measure that unless you are breaking the law or jeopardizing someone’s life. And so, we are not to judge others, at any time, because you would be admitting that you have low opinion of yourself in this case. The best part, it’s not their fault. It’s what they were taught. It’s all they know. It is their fault if they become aware of it, though, and continue to stay in that place. No longer can we get away with blaming other people, places, and things. The responsibility is ours. In the last year, I have spent hours upon hours learning how to better understand the importance of dealing with emotions.
One could put a reaction list together and find one hundred interchangeable names to describe all of the events that have transpired over the last seven days…the VICIOUS screaming and yelling among peers, the RECKLESS protest in city streets, the DEVASTATED cries over the shoulder, the DOUBT for the direction of this country, the JOY of “fixing” corrupt Washington, the TRIUMPH of a candidate’s win, which nobody thought was possible…
In the end, regardless of the outcome, everyone wants to feel certain that they, and their families, will be OK, or, live on the land that ensures an easy path to our last days. It doesn’t work that way. Life is uneasy and this is a testament to that. Don’t think that it’s always going to be peaceful. In a world of constant change, we are always adjusting which means new obstacles, day in, and day out. This is the joy of life.
I am going to make my disclaimer now: This is not a political piece of writing. Instead, writing to human beings-who we are, before policy, before systems, before infrastructure, before anything else. Yet, we put more relative weight of importance on the ladder, significantly affecting our ability to appreciate life. Coming from a place of it’s not good enough vs. I am grateful for..
There are millions of people around this country and even around the world who have been affected by what has taken place, in some undefined capacity. Amidst all the uncertainty, the certainty is, not one person has lived a full life without knowing loneliness. Isn’t this great? There is not one person who hasn’t known anguish. Isn’t this great? There is not one person who hasn’t known weeping. Isn’t this great?
Why are you saying “Isn’t this great” to those things Manny?
At the same time, there are plenty of people who’ve missed out on laughter and joy, but, did you notice in all of those ways we are connected? We are the same, because I have felt it, she has felt it, you have felt it..we are all involved in the same struggle of life at some point, whether it was years ago, a month ago, a week ago, or in the future. The things that make us human won’t change, ever, even if the Commander-in-Chief does.
The struggle of life, is to become fully human, a damn good challenge that we face everyday. It’s the only answer and the best thing we can become. Before we can please the opposition and make America great again, I say let’s make it better, because this land is already great. It always was, is, and will be. Now, we have to condition ourselves to believe we are capable of being great on an individual level, to make our internal environment in which we live, the best.
What I witnessed, a lot of fear as the underlying cause of such mindless behavior. The driving force for all of the craziness taking place. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions that curbs our potential everyday. The one that controls most of our behavior, one that prevents us from doing unimaginable things, from taking a leap of faith, from stepping into our power…fear that has been tremendously misused by the person who hasn’t got to know his or herself just yet, or, who they really are. Because when he or she does this, they will discover that they are quite an amazing person. This person will accept themselves for who and what he or she is. And their attitude will not be predicated on a new four year term. A human being is the purest, most privileged, and most godlike living creation on earth. This includes you.
Several days before the final votes were tallied I tuned in to a couple of podcast interviews on my daily learning. One was with John Assaraf, an expert on the brain, the one organ in which we haven’t received the correct user’s manual for, as he puts it. His comments were this:
“It really makes no difference who becomes president or who doesn’t. If you have the belief that regardless of what happens in your external world, you can navigate towards the success that you want.”
“The big granddaddy of all of them is when the economy crashed in 2009 and the headlines all said, I mean every single day, 9 percent, 10 percent, 11 percent unemployment. All we heard about were the number of people who couldn’t find work, all I saw on Dirty Jobs was help wanted signs everywhere I went, people were struggling to hire. It just made me think…I wasn’t prepared at that point to say what the problem was. All I knew for sure was there were two narratives going on in the country and, one was getting a lot of press and one wasn’t getting any. You had 2.3 million jobs in 2009 that employers couldn’t fill and you had nearly 20 million people who were unemployed…so what’s going on? I used to ask that question to every employer I met in all 50 states, multiple times, and the answer was always the same thing, we simply can’t find people who are willing to learn a skill that’s in demand, hit the reset button, retool, retrain, and most importantly relocate..I don’t know when we became such a stationary people. The United States is the United States because we went west, we move, we stopped moving..
Can we do something that is going to fundamentally get us going in the right direction, and if so, what is it?
Yes, to answer the first question. And to answer the second question, which makes all the difference, I say..
Choose love not fear…
Shortly after the dust settled, and the days passed, I started to see a select few who were making mention of words like purpose, unity, together, trust, believe, LOVE….YES!! Love is the other most powerful emotion that we experience.
But can I ask why it takes someone else or an event like we have just experienced to shake things up?
Why can’t we constantly strive for these types of messages and reasons for living beyond the selection of a President?
I don’t know about you, but at this stage in my life, I believe with all of my heart that everyone is here for a reason, and that reason is to do something good, to be great from the inside out. To serve our fellow people.
Will you define love Manny? Nooo. I will not. It is way too broad of a concept. And anyone who opens up a conversation about this topic will tell you that. But what I will say is that love is learned, just like fear, behavioral self-control, riding a bike, driving a car, cooking, and the list is infinite. I still have much to learn about love and that excites me. I want to become the best lover I possibly can. These four categories will help your literacy of love.
This is an unconditional love that sees beyond the outer surface and accepts the recipient for whom he/she is, regardless of their flaws, shortcomings or faults. It’s the type of love that everyone strives to have for their fellow human beings. Although you may not like someone, you decide to love them just as a human being. This kind of love is all about sacrifice as well as giving and expecting nothing in return. The translation of the word agape is love in the verb form: it is the love demonstrated by your behavior toward another person. It is a committed and chosen love.
The phileo love refers to an affectionate, warm and tender platonic love. It makes you desire friendship with someone. It’s the kind of love which livens up the agape love. Although you may have an agape love for your enemies, you may not have a phileo love for the same people. The translation of the word phileo is love in the noun form: it is how you feel about someone. It is a committed and chosen love.
It is a kind of family and friendship love. This is the love that parents naturally feel for their children; the love that members of the family have for each other; or the love that friends feel for each other. In some cases, this friendship love may turn into a romantic relationship, and the couple in such a relationship becomes best friends. storge love is unconditional, accepts flaws or faults and ultimately drives you to forgive. It’s committed, sacrificial and makes you feel secure, comfortable and safe.
Eros is a passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings; it is the kind that often triggers “high” feelings in a new relationship and makes you say, “I love him/her.” It is simply an emotional and sexual love. Although this romantic love is important in the beginning of a new relationship, it may not last unless it moves a notch higher because it focuses more on self instead of the other person. If the person “in love” does not feel good about their relationship anymore, they will stop loving their partner.”
There is a paragraph in The Road Less Traveled, a must read, which identifies a unitary definition of love. Love that includes self-love with the love for the other. Since I am human and you are human, to love humans means to love myself as well as you. To be dedicated to human spiritual development is to be dedicated to the race of which we are a part of, and this therefore means dedication to our own development as well as “theirs.” It goes on to say, Everyone in our culture desires to some extent to be loving, yet many are not in fact loving. I therefore conclude that the desire to love is not itself love. Love is as love does. Love is an act of will-namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We chose to love. No matter how much we may think we are loving, if we are in fact not loving, it is because we have chosen not to love and therefore do not love despite our good intentions.
Love is not something that just happens randomly. It’s my thought that we believe it to be this way, but when we discover the difficulty in human relationships the evidence is there. Disappointment. Our teachers in this category have taught us their idea of love, not ours. Think about who this is. The community in which we live in and our parents. They are our first teachers, but not always the best. A willingness to accept this helps us grow. What should excite you is this, if we have learned how to love from these people, we can unlearn and relearn it. Instilling in us a tremendous amount of hope for what the future may bring.
In conclusion, an investment in your life and love, is an investment in change all around you. Remember to make yourself the most lovable and fearless person in the world and you’ll always carry on. Life comes from you. The importance of you, the respect of you, the love of you, and when you realize all things come from you, you’ll be ready to give it away to others and make the difference we long for. I believe you control your destiny, that you can be what you want to be and do what you want to do. Everyone has their own path and there are many roads to take on the journey of discovering you. Everyone will find their way, just be sure not to let anyone else institute theirs on you.
I’ll leave you with a statement from the writing of R.D. Laing.
“We think much less than what we know. We know much less than what we love. We love much less than what there is. And to this precise extent, we are much less than what we are.
So what will you choose?
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