Photo by Koshu Kunii via Unsplash
Many are familiar with a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
A great concept, but unfortunately two little words are often missing—two words that change the message entirely.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
This is not merely a suggestion or a nice idea, it is a call to action. We cannot continue to live and respond in the same way if we ever hope to create positive change in the world. If we ever hope to end hate, we must first choose love—regardless of what we fear.
That may sound soft and gooey, but it’s not. Love is fierce, brave and strong. Think I’m kidding? Try getting between a bear cub and its mama. The love I speak of is not passive, it’s powerful.
Tolerating hate enables it to continue.
Hate is often aggressive, but it can also be subtle. It is up to you to become aware and recognize it if you hope to eliminate it. Whether it’s deleting certain “friends” from your feed or leaving a toxic relationship, you must declare and enforce your boundaries or no one else will. Tolerating hate enables it to continue. I agree that no response can be a powerful one, but now is not the time to remain silent.
One of most subtle and prevalent forms of hate in this world today is hate aimed at the self. Fed by culture, religion and media, a message of “not enough” pervades our lives and bombards our brains every moment of every day. If you hope to bring light to darkness and create a new way, you must begin with you .
To unite with others, we must be willing to look within, to see the light within ourselves. If you show up because you “should,” you’re not helping anyone, at least not to your full potential. When you can’t allow forgiveness within, you can’t hope to give it to another, not fully.
To heal this world and bring positive change, we have to own our shit. Look at yourself with curiosity rather than judgment, and see what needs to heal. Oftentimes hate, anger and fear stem from judgment we place on ourselves, and it spills onto the world around us. Fear others will see the lack with see in ourselves is an illusion. There really is no lack. Only ignorance of the truth. We are looking through skewed filters and dirty lenses. Some lenses are broken.
You are a unique and perfect expression of the Divine.
Each of you is a unique and perfect expression of the Divine. Right now. Each of you holds a unique set of talents, abilities and desires. No two people on the planet do, be or want the exact same things. You have a purpose for being here that is tailor-made for your gifts, your passions, your talents, your voice. Everything about you is what makes you perfect for your purpose.
We have to address and heal our past and our present if we have any hope in creating a new future. Be with the discomfort. Don’t numb it with distraction, drink, drug or doing. Sit with it. Allow yourself to look at the shadow places. Shine light on the wounds. See yourself as more. Even if you can’t see a possibility for that, be open to it. Meet it halfway.
Memories of recent events and the pain suffered will begin to dim for those of us who were not directly impacted by them if we allow it. We must keep the conversation going. We have to keep moving forward if we truly want change. There is a new way birthing, but warriors of light are needed to pave the way.
We can no longer stay silent.
I grew up in a small southern town that instilled many fears and negative beliefs within me. I was told I wasn’t meant to be. I was sexually abused and I was raped. I thought I was worthless. I believed the lies. Many of you have similar stories. Though we are not responsible for the wounds we were given, but we are responsible for healing them. The same holds true for the system our country was built on. We are not responsible for the structure on which it stands, but we are responsible for dismantling it and creating a new one. It will take all of us.
Only when we all stand will permanent change be made.
Only when we all speak will everyone be made free.
Only when we all unite will a new way be made.
This is a wake up call. Don’t fall back asleep.
Who were you before the world told you who to be? That is your essence, your glory, your power. Within you is great strength. You were not meant to sit timidly on the sidelines. It is time to rise, to speak, to act, to own your power. It is time to do what scares you.
Fear and hate are learned behaviors. It’s time for a new curriculum. The continuing cycles of hate and fear will never end unless we all join the fight.
Seek the truth. Raise your voice. Stand in your power. Say their names.