Last week was a difficult week in the US. Again. There was the similar pattern of tragedy, “thoughts & prayers,” and outrage that has become achingly familiar. But then, there was something else.
Where the outrage usually simmers into resignation and hopelessness, there were voices. Not only the usual voices of exaggerated political dichotomy, but the empowered voices of victims and survivors, speaking on behalf of friends and loved ones who couldn’t be with them, and wouldn’t be again. Yes, there is anger, frustration, and indignation. There is also something much more powerful than any of those.
Underlying all of the cries for justice and angry tears, there is love. Love for those who were taken away. Love for those who survive with lifelong scars of many kinds. Love in text messages sent down the hallway, and across town. Love in opened doors and selfless protection. Love in memories, and tributes, and at long last, in the flicker of hope ignited by real change on the horizon.
All experiences in life can be distilled down to two emotions: love or fear. Only one, however, is the antidote for the other. The antidote for everything. In the face of crippling fear, our next instinct is love. I’m scared; I love you. I’m hurt; I’ll help you. I’m in danger; I’ll protect you. When we are frozen with fear, the few things we are capable of doing are those that are rooted in love. Selfless, ego-less, fearless love.
If there were an emotion meter hanging over that tragedy that unfolded last week, and so many others like it, I am sure it would have registered plenty of fear. But above all of that, it would have flown off its own charts measuring the love being felt and expressed in every corner of that building.
Love is stronger than fear, and everything that fear breeds. Hate, greed, self-interest, the illusion of separation. No matter how fierce the battle, or the sacrifices made in its name, there is always only one triumph. Choose it now, and be on the winning side. There is only one outcome. Love Wins.
Photo credit: Andrea B. Coan