The fireflies were dancing in the garden last night. This morning the chipmunks stuff their cheeks with seed, the hummer fills his belly with bee balm and hosta nectar, baby birds ravish the berry bushes in search of sweets and worms. The new sun warms the back of my neck; the humidity sits in the air waiting for the heat to weave it’s way through the trees. It is quiet and peaceful.
In the midst of this serenity, there are people in Ohio grieving. They join the people of El Paso, Northern California and Mississippi and multitudes of other places where grief arrives uninvited and hangs it’s hat on rack of communities as if it plans to stay, and we wonder who will receive it’s next visit.
We awake to news of an overnight shooting, a head-on collision, an earthquake or fire. We hear of a friend’s dying father, or a cousin’s child who is ill. A beloved pet passes over the Rainbow bridge, a grove of maples is bulldozed down for the sake of a new housing development. Fracking, poor water quality, walls….grief hovers, waiting as if looking for a place to hang it’s hat… Tomorrow is uncertain, life could change in an instant, our peace shredded, our quiet disturbed and we decide how we will respond.
Every day we chose our response AND we are often unaware we have a choice. Yet, there it is. Spiritual traditions call it being asleep (unaware) or awake (awareness). We can wake up and actively choose our response. In the midst of grief that can feel as if it is overtaking us, we can choose love over fear.
What does that even look like? What does it mean to choose love over fear? Marianne Williamson offers a helpful comparison to get us started thinking: light is to dark as love is to fear. Darkness is overcome when we allow light. How, in the middle of our fear how might we invite love? We will talk more about this next week, because I think it deserves deeper consideration. Our stress is caused by fear: feelings of not being enough, not experiencing love, acceptance, etc. In order to get a handle on our stress, we must take a look at our fear. And if we are addressing fear, then love must be our answer. Love transforms fear.
This week, as you are contemplating the news, the sadness around you, instead of hitting the reactive button of your “go-to” coping habit, (come on now, we all have them) consider how love might be the antidote. Place a sticky note on your car dash or computer – some place where you will be reminded to ask yourself: “How can I transform fear with love? Please leave insights on email or the comments section of the website. I want to hear how you are rolling this idea around in your mind. We will talk more next week.
Peace for this week’s journey,