Love the Hard Way

I think we like having enemies.

It’s an unfortunate trait that’s carried over from the primitive days of survival, a tribal necessity: we band together to win.

Bonding is a biproduct of two people pushing against a third. It’s the cheap way to reach love, the paved shortcut through the woods. It doesn’t last.

Just because there are people who do bad things to us, it doesn’t mean they have to become our enemies. We don’t have to hold on to that instinct, particularly since the clenching wears us out. Not them.

And this isn’t about being a doormat. Stand up for what you believe. Talk back, interrupt, step in, put your hand up, yell. Do what you have to do so that your voice is heard and your spirit is released.

But, if you really want to have an impact on the situation and walk away having done all you could, to become better than you were, then don’t look for allies in your hatred.

Be more courageous than that.

Look at the ugliness that’s rising in you, wooed out of its hiding place like a charmed serpent, forked tongue, ready to strike. Stare it down and will it to leave, scare it back until it slithers completely out of you, out of the room.

It will leave a space behind for something else.

When we challenge others from a place of love, we push hardest of all. Our weight is felt more deeply. We face our fears, rediscover our mission, and open up new opportunities we didn’t know were there.

Most important, our hearts stay intact. And grow bigger.

When standing in Anger and Hatred, we should see them for what they are: beacons of sharp, hot light, a call to action.

They are serpents we should thank, not kingdoms to live within.