“Before being Christians or Jews or Muslims, before being Americans or Russians or Africans, before being generals or priests, rabbis or imams, before having visible or invisible disabilities, we are all human beings with hearts capable of loving.”-Jean Vanier
Each one of us has been created with the capacity to love.
LOVE is powerful.
Earlier this week, my friend Susheela shared Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk on Facebook. In Monica’s 22 minute talk, I was transported into the shoes of this beautiful woman whose humanness lead to public shame. She was 23 and she made a mistake. WE HAVE ALL MADE A MISTAKE…or two…or three. For most of us, though our mistakes may have come with a price tag labeled guilt, shame, and discouragement, Monica’s ordeal was laid out for the WHOLE WORLD to see, critique, remember, comment, and more.
Let’s set one thing straight. We make mistakes but we are NOT our mistakes. Monica Lewinsky made a mistake but she is not her mistake. She is a human being, with dreams and aspirations, fears and faults, a past, present, and a future. She experiences the same emotions that you and I go through perhaps on different days, at times maybe in the same moment.
“I was seen by many but known by few.”-Monica Lewinsky
How many of us can say the same thing about our lives? I know I can. See, it’s easy to judge others based on what we hear, see, or perceive. The problem is, we think that it is an excuse to think we are better than others because they don’t sin/do life as we do. It’s easy to judge others to make us feel better about ourselves. It’s easy. to. judge.
The problem is, we weren’t created to judge (unless you are a professional judge). You and I were created to LOVE. But somewhere along the way, we let judging and condemning others become our everyday behaviour and loving others, a past time.
“We are often harsher judges than God himself.”-Judah Smith
There’s a story in the Bible (John 8:1-11) about a woman who is caught in the act of adultery. As the story goes, Jesus was at the temple when a crowd gathered. As He was teaching them, teachers of religious law and the Pharisees (a.k.a. people on high horses) brought this woman in front of the crowd and basically said something to the effect of “this woman was caught in the act of adultery and according to the law, she should be stoned. What do you say?” I LOVE Jesus’ response. He said nothing at first. And when they demanded an answer, He said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”-John 8:7. In other words, ok, you can stone her but let the one who has never made a mistake throw the first stone. If you are perfect, go ahead and throw that stone.
Monica made a mistake. You and I have made mistakes. The invitation to each of us is that before we act on our impulse to condemn others, gossip about what he said/she said/he did/she did, and voice our opinions about others, may we first put on our lenses of love and compassion.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”-Dalai Lama
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”-Mother Teresa
“Make no judgements where you have no compassion.”-Anne McCaffrey
Bullying reflects our brokenness. To end bullying (which can happen at any age to anyone), we must help each other heal our brokenness.
“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.”-Daniel Goleman
“People speak with intention or speak for attention.”-Monica Lewinsky
May you and I be people who speak (whether via phone, text, social media, traditional media, in conversations with one another, etc.) with the intention of adding more love to this world, speaking life over one another, encouraging each other, and using our words to heal vs. hurt. Because the truth is, we can hurt each other or we can help each other heal. The choice is yours and the choice is mine.
Let us put down our stones of condemnation and instead put on our lenses of love.
Our world isn’t in need of more things, more “reality shows,” or more ten-step programs.
Our world is in need of LOVE-love that says, “I see you. I hear you. I’m here for you.”
1. Write a (love) note and leave it for your loved one or a stranger to find. #moreloveletters
2. Watch this:)
3. Download. Print. Read. Share.
4. Consume Good Stuff or no stuff. Take a break from the plethora of bad news/tv and nourish your soul with “clean eating” soul food-free of toxins, artificial flavours, and preservatives. Here are some places to check out…..
Darling Magazine– The Art of Being a Woman
GOOD Magazine– for those who give a damn
Soul Pancake -videos that will awaken your senses and stir your soul, make you laugh and ignite a fire within
5. Only for today, commit to instant gratitude (vs. instant gratification) and watch what happens:)
Happy New Week Beautiful Souls. You. Are. Loved.