“If it bleeds, it leads.”
This is the slogan of publishers and media sites all over the world. The more tragic, gross, deadly, barbaric and unsettling, the more press it gets…
...even, sometimes, if it isn’t exactly always 100% true.
To tackle this subject, so pervasive in our modern culture, our Director of Client Services, Marc Gilson, wrote a bold and inspiring essay for Mind Power. On this Valentine’s week, typically dedicated to hearts, candy and dinner reservations...
...Marc makes particularly poignant observations.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read “Love in a Time of Anger” below, and ask yourself: How will you move through the world these days:
With the darkness of anger or the courage of love?
P.S. We have an amazing suite of soundtracks to help you transform your life by tapping into the power of your unconscious mind to create…
...profound experiences of love, compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness.
Find how you can develop these profoundly important fundamentals in the Check It Out section below.
Love in a Time of Anger
by Marc Gilson
Centerpointe Director of Client Services
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
"The world has become an angry place," my client said over the phone, "I've always been a loving person, but I keep finding love taking a back seat to my anger."
This was our third coaching session together, and I felt that we were finally getting down to the issues I could help her with.
"It's not like me to be angry all the time," she continued, "I have always believed that love is the greatest power in the universe. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe the world is too angry now, too hostile, to love. It doesn't feel worth the risk anymore."
When coaching, I try to maintain an objective perspective while still being open to empathizing with my client. In this case, I was caught off guard. As she spoke about her challenges around this issue of love in a time of anger I was empathizing a lot, maybe a little too much. I was nodding sadly at her words and found myself more and more convinced that she might just be right. Maybe the world has become hostile to love.
Maybe being a loving person just isn't worth the risk anymore.
I'm sure you've noticed that the world is a rather unsettling place to be. Regardless of your beliefs about politics, the economy, rights, laws or morality, I think most of us can agree that today's world feels much less in touch with love and much more linked to anger and hostility.
Divisiveness has overshadowed dialogue. Conflict has displaced connection. Harshness has shouted down harmony.
And anger...well anger has become a national pastime. You can barely turn on your TV or log on to your computer without being confronted with some angry post, tweet, comment, broadcast, or article designed to keep us separate from one another, suspicious and cynical about each other's intentions.
Arguments & Debates or Love & Compassion?
This, I believe, is by design. Conflict causes engagement. Engagement means attention. And attention (clicks, likes, retweets, claps) are worth more than gold in today's media-obsessed world. Those who attempt to create content that is positive and inspiring find that it is hard work. It usually gets overshadowed by arguments and debates.
Being a voice of love and compassion today takes work.
But just about anybody can start an argument. It’s tempting to monetize the drama and inflate the debate. Fake news stirs up paranoia and fear...and it pays.
My talk with my client reminded me that there are repercussions to this way of living that could create long-term damage.
It can transform tolerant, compassionate, and loving people into distrustful, guarded, wounded creatures. She was becoming a perfect example. But she's not the only one.
Rather than love and compassion, outrage now seems to be the chosen method by which we express ourselves and define our identities. Everyone has an opinion, it seems, and they're not afraid to shout it in your face. How can anyone risk love and care in such a world? And should they even try?
Isn't it better to be tough? Thick-skinned?
Well, yes, in some ways it is. Part of growing and maturing involves strengthening ourselves. The world has never been easy on the open-hearted. A certain amount of strength and ruggedness of spirit goes a long way in times of high hostility.
Is it just too dangerous to live a life of love, compassion and forgiveness, when the world seems so quick and eager to attack these traits? Maybe my client was right. Maybe it's just not worth the risk. Maybe it's better to avoid love and not be that open and vulnerable. Perhaps love is for the naive and foolish.
Maybe those who love are just asking for pain and trouble.
These were the kind of cynical thoughts bubbling in my mind in the wake of that particular coaching session; a session that left me drained and tired. Thinking about the current state of our world and its tendency to so savagely crush the spirits of those who would dare express compassion, love, forgiveness, or trust––well, it's enough to discourage anybody. Like my client…
...I felt that the part of me that had always wanted to give and receive love was in hibernation, hiding itself away from the angry storms of today's cultural climate.
But it just so happened that this coaching session occurred on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In the United States, the third Monday of January is set aside to honor the influential activist, minister and civil rights leader. So as I was decompressing from my day, still emotionally anaesthetized from thoughts of love and compassion, I happened to spot this quote from Dr. King on a social media site celebrating his birthday:
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
While I had seen this quote before (and many others from Dr. King) the power of these words hit me at just the right time. In fact, they shook me out of my numb state and woke me to the undeniable truth Dr. King had so clearly articulated. He seemed to suggest that love isn't some passive state of resignation. It's not quite as weak and frail as I'd thought. Love itself is a force. The only force, said Dr. King, that can drive out hate.
Perhaps I'd sold love short, forgotten about its power, and overlooked its strength.
As if the MLK quote wasn't enough, that same evening I happened across yet another quote, this one from Eleanor Roosevelt, America's First Lady from 1933 to 1945 and a powerful force in her own right.
Eleanor was no wallflower or second fiddle to her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt. In an age still plagued with racial injustice, sexism and social challenges, Eleanor did everything she could to break down prejudices and support the plight of the underrepresented. In April 1939 she wrote:
“It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.”
Eleanor Roosevelt experienced much in the way of both pain and joy in life. She knew the risks that come with love. Yet she also knew that the alternative to love was a life lived "like clams in a shell." To love, especially in a time when love is almost too quaint an idea to survive, is a true act of courage. I resonated with the blatant honesty of her statement. She is reminding us that love can be painful. But that pain is "the purifying fire," and that…
...if we live in fear of that pain–the pain that comes with the courage to love–we're barely living at all.
Compassion, Understanding & Trust
Valentine's Day brings thoughts of love. Red hearts and chubby floating cupids are everywhere. Perhaps you and your special someone are making plans for a romantic evening at home. Maybe you're hoping for flowers or chocolates or a date out on the town.
Although the emphasis of the holiday naturally tends toward romantic love, I invite you to join me in remembering love in a broader sense too: The "philia" of Ancient Greece––the expansive "brotherly/sisterly love," the love that makes room for compassion, understanding, and trust.
(I wonder if you will find it as interesting as I did that the Ancient Greek word with the opposite meaning of “philia” is "phobia;" fear.)
Love, in stormy, ill-tempered, reactionary times, can seem like too much of a gamble, too great a risk. That's when we must recall the words of Dr. King who reminded us that love is not weak. In fact, only love is powerful enough to drive out hate. And the words of Eleanor Roosevelt who said love requires courage, and that while there are risks of pain when we love, the risks of holding our love back are truly much greater.
In times of anger, will you have the courage to love?
Tap into the power of your unconscious mind to create deep experiences of love, compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness.
Centerpointe Research Institute announces its brand new Journey to Self Suite…
..with four powerful soundtracks, plus a downloadable journal, to help you experience profound levels of deep personal fulfillment.
Journey to Self Suite
Journey to Love
Journey to Forgiveness
Journey to Gratitude
Journey to Compassion
Note: Journey to Compassion is not for sale at any price. It only comes with the entire suite, as a FREE bonus track.
Thank you for creating something that can be used by anyone for health and healing.
Although we're all unique individuals, the healing we experience cannot help but be shared by those we are in everyday contact with.
I have regained my love and faith in humanity which began with my own healing.
~B.M., Prince George, B.C., Canada