Love One Another
Love One Another. It is one of the greatest teachings throughout human history. Using differing semantics, it is taught in all major belief systems and cultures. It is one of the hardest teachings to practice however. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, love and the expression of love, was confusing to me. Most of my abuse was almost always preceded with statements like: “I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t love you,” or “If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t be this angry,” or “I’m punishing you because I love you.” In my childhood, I perceived that love caused the abuse.
I have spent many years in counseling working through my early trauma so I am no longer living as a victim, but it took finding wise teachers that opened my mind and experiencing true love before I understood that anger and fear caused the abuse, not love. I continue to grow and learn from wise teachers about love. More than experiencing and feeling however, there is the action of love. I am learning how to live, see, and express myself from Love or being Love in action. I recently had an experience that gave me the opportunity to be love in action so I thought I would share it with you all.
We have been staying in a small town in KY since March 25th but have been self quarantining ever since March 11th. I had to go out today to do laundry. I stopped in a Walgreens to visit the ATM for cash before I went to the laundromat. When I came out, an older man who was wearing NO PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in his late 60s or early 70s, was standing about 10 feet away from my truck and looking with wide eyes at my Florida license plate. He looked up with anger as I approached and yelled, “What are you doing out of state at this time? What’s wrong with you? Are you just stupid?”
I didn’t respond. I simply got in the truck and locked the door. Thankfully, even though he made me a little nervous, I have new skills in my mental health tool box and as I removed my mask, I looked at him through the windshield of my truck thinking, “man who is scared, expressing himself.” (Many thanks to Martha Creek for this simple but powerful teaching.)
My second thought was, “Love one another.” I smiled and waved at the man before I pulled away. I know we are all anxious with the pandemic and I realize that his anxiety was showing but if we want something to truly change, let’s bring back the basics. We are all affected. We are all struggling in our own ways. We are all learning how to move through this. If we truly want to bring back some “sense of normal”, let’s love each other through this.
I’m grateful that he expressed himself from a safe social distance but more than that, I’m thankful for the internal guidance that led me quickly to understanding and a loving reaction. I get to choose who I am in each situation and in every action and reaction. In this instance, I chose to respond with love. I have learned that even when anger is fronting, love is still there because I can call it forth.