What Will YOU Choose?

It’s February, the start of Humpback Whale Awareness month.  Woo Hoo!  I love the whales!!  Betcha thought I was gonna mention Valentine’s Day.  Nope, because like Christmas, love is something we can celebrate and be grateful for giving or getting every day.  February is also Black History Month and well before it I came across this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. that really inspired and challenged me.

“Another way that you love your enemy is this:

When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it.

There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person.

It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life.

That’s the time you must [help them].

That is the meaning of love.

In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about.

It’s not merely an emotional something.

Love is creative, understanding goodwill for everyone.

It is the refusal to defeat any individual.

When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems.

Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.”

Have you ever tried to ‘take down’ an enemy, whether it be a friend, a neighbor, a family member, a political or other kind of leader?  Maybe they deserved it.  Oh yes, I can get myself in a lather about all the enemies that abound on this planet, all the people that misuse others and still profit, those that lie and still remain in power.  It’s infuriating.

Yet, in most spiritual traditions and teachings, all of them say the same thing.  We are all connected.  What you do to another, you do to yourself.  What someone does to you is a reflection of something hurt and wounded in them and something in yourself that you need to honor and transform.

I have a friend who is frequently at odds with even the helpers in her life or always has an enemy somewhere out to get her.  We all do this at times.  I want to ask her what is this a reflection of in her own self and how she sees the world. 

When challenged with an ‘enemy,’ you can ask yourself ‘What can I learn from this person or situation to make my self stronger, more connected, more loving, and how can I transform it to help someone or something (like the earth or world in some way)?’

What if you approached an enemy with the kind of love and compassion Martin Luther King (and many others) espouse?  The refusal to defeat any individual is a refusal to harm yourself. 

Getting back at someone may feel good initially to our ego selves but it actually disconnects you from your spirit and from others.  It leaves a mark that will make it easier to disconnect again and again, and you will not grow emotionally or spiritually beyond that moment.  Then it somehow starts to translate into dissatisfaction with your life and then all things around you.  You’ll see enemies everywhere. 

We are wired for connection.  We literally have mirror neurons that light up the same way as the person we are looking at or talking to and we feel what they feel and vice versa.  That’s why it’s so hard to be really mean to someone face to face because when you see the hurt you cause, it hurts you too.  Or it will later when your anger clears and your conscience kicks in.  Mirror neurons are why it’s so easy to be mean and hateful online because you don’t see the hurt you cause so you disconnect from your own humanity. 

It’s the ultimate challenge I think to love the humanity in the online troll or someone who actually does damage to your life.  If you can take one breath and then separate the system that caused that person to act badly from their actual humanity, you have taken a huge step toward real, true love.  

That is the ultimate Valentine’s Day, every day. 

Happy Humpback Whale Month!  If you read my articles, you know some of the beings I love the most on this planet are Cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises).  I hope you’ll love them too and do one thing to keep them safe and healthy.  Here’s just a few things you can do to love marine and other animals: Pick up some trash on the beach (or anywhere), don’t litter on the beach (or anywhere), don’t use toxic chemicals that go down the drain (or anywhere), don’t buy a ticket to a show with captive Cetaceans, do leave them be if you see them in the wild, don’t let anyone else harm them, do buy local because shipping goods causes more ship strikes, don’t eat fish—or eat less and only small, sustainably caught fish.

What’s one small thing different you will try this month to stay in love with all humanity? 

Please reach out for help if you are feeling overwhelmed or need assistance in any of the challenges that we all face in life at one time or another. 

You can always reach me via jteleia@gmail.com or my website www.YourLifeWellLived.net

One small thing you can do different perhaps is to play, to go outside, get some sunshine and play with nature.  She’s always there for you. 


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