Love and Empathy Conquers Hate and Fear

When I have been afraid, I can NOT think straight. I feel I have no possibilities, or I feel helpless and hopeless. When I can become vulnerable enough and admit my fear and notice why I am afraid, then I can work to tell the truth to myself or others about my fear(s). Then I am free again and can notice other possible ways to deal with a situation or challenge than when I was blinded by my fear.

I was going through this process the few last weeks. This was not an instant process. It took me some time to unravel it. I also had to ask for help from my source. After I did this, I calmed down and was able to more patiently navigate my way through my recent and even ongoing challenges. I found a possible solution that I was unable to even fathom when I had been so fearful.

I have noticed that when I am fearful, I am also less loving and empathetic. I am quicker to anger. Over the last few months, with all of the mass shootings, shootings of African Americans, and police officers and unrest and shootings around the world, I have resisted going to fear, but it crept in anyway. Denying it was there was not helping. Also I have been disturbed and saddened by the hate I have witnessed against all groups of people.

Hate has an energy that is palpable and very dark. However, I and we humans have a way to conquer hate and fear, and that is with love and empathy.

From Wayne Dyer’s Book, page 27: “The Power of Intention” he said in his chapter: “The Seven Faces of Intention”:

“…Love… is a higher/faster energy than the energy of hate.”

Also on the same page Mr. Dyer said:

“Thoughts and emotions are pure energy. When higher energies occupy the same field as lower energies, the lower energies convert to higher energies.”

Therefore, in the presence of the energy of LOVE, hate is conquered.

Getting to this place of LOVE is definitely not automatic for me. What I can do, is begin with myself. I need to begin with being kinder and more loving to myself, only then can I give love or at least have empathy for others. First, I have to shift and acknowledge my fear or anger if I have any. Recently, I found what was under my fear was a very old resentment, which I needed to admit to myself. This included that I needed to become willing to be an observer of my own actions, emotions, and triggers. My source helps me to see what those are when I become willing to be humble and listen from a place of silence. I am no saint. I am aware I need all the help I can get, so I ask or pray for it.

“Love is the most powerful and still the most unknown energy of the world.”

– Teil de Chardin

I just saw this this Tuesday. This young man shows what LOVE and EMPATHY are in his unbelievable rap. Don’t miss it! Keep kleenex handy.

http://eagnews.org/video-eighth-graders-explicit-white-boy-privilege-poem-wins-school-competition/

Sorry, initially I copied and pasted the wrong rap!

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Standing Up

What do I mean by standing up? I mean it in a few ways. I begin with myself. I know what I am passionate about, and I am learning to advocate for myself. As a child, I was not that way. I was outwardly focused and avoided speaking up for myself, particularly in my family. I was what you would call a people pleaser. Watching out for others is not a bad thing, but, initially, it did not help me to know myself.

I am learning to stand up more for myself. I have spoken up for myself for some time and belonged to groups where I could speak out against what I thought was unjust. One area I have felt strongly about is respecting all people: all races, all sexual orientations, all religions, and all cultures. There have been a few heroes who support my beliefs, and I have written about them before in this blog. One who I haven’t written about before is the documentary maker and speaker, Ken Burns. I am still working on a historical novel in which I used facts from the documentary he made and completed about the Civil War in 1990.

This last week I learned about Ken Burns’ talk at the National Endowment of the Humanities. I had the good fortune to hear Ken Burns speak on history in Charlotte, North Carolina when I lived there more than 8 years ago. I remembered it to be outstanding speech. What I love about this talk is that Ken Burns is standing up and speaking about race as a white male. His is telling his story and interweaves it with our American history.
I am giving you the link to the written speech because the video was not working.
http://www.neh.gov/about/awards/jefferson-lecture/ken-burns-jefferson-lecture

Another person I heard about last weekend is a black singer named Adia Victoria who stands up for herself and other African Americans in her music and tells it how she sees it. Her new album is called “Beyond the Bloodhounds”.

I heard her on Public Radio. Here is the podcast.
http://www.npr.org/programs/weekend-edition-saturday/2016/05/21/478962804/weekend-edition-saturday-for-may-21-2016

For me, race in this country and the issues we have are still with us. I personally have friends from all backgrounds and cultures, and my life is richer for it. As a white woman, I do NOT have to live the discrimination that people of color in this country have to experience frequently, if not daily. However, as a woman and coming from the family I did, I know how this disrespect feels. I grew up though, and sometimes those old patterns of behavior affected my CHOICES. I know that my black friends experience discrimination in NOT subtle ways. They share their pain and stories with me.

My dream is that one day all of us could speak FRANKLY about how this country is NOT a level playing field for people of color at all. It is hard for us to become COMPASSIONATE for each other if we are coming from hate, blame, and fear. It is hard if certain people in this country are vilifying certain groups: Latinos, Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim refugees, and African Americans. Fear NEVER solved any problem. It only creates division between people and it stops us from rational THINKING (REALLY).

It is the fertile ground from which DESTRUCTIVE choices for ALL AMERICANS are made.

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The Web of Life

The interconnected and inner connected web of life is something I love to witness. While I was photographing the spider web on the left of this photo-montage, the squirrel in the middle photo was watching me. I believe this might be the same squirrel which welcomed me home last October. He appeared in another blog “Being Welcomed”. I was so happy my squirrel friend was curious about what I was doing. I feel a friendly connection with the squirrels where I live. That is just one way I experience how I am connected to everything else.

“It is through mysterious power that we have our being, and we, therefore, yield to our neighbors, even our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves to inhabit this vast land.”
– Sitting Bull (1831-1890)

While I was teaching English-as-a-Second-Language to people from all over the world, not only did I teach English, but through my students, I began to learn and feel how connected all of us humans are. Yes, we have our differences, but we have so many common needs and human problems. I was fortunate to learn, first hand, how similar all of us humans are.

I do not claim to fully understand quantum physics, but I “grok” a sense of it. In a way, it helps me to “get” this idea of inner connectedness. It helps remind me to include all people, animals, insects, and things on our planet. We may see ourselves as separate with our eyes, but at a cellular and automic level, that is not TRUE. I also wonder whether this connects us all to what I call my source. I find this also hints at what Sitting Bull is calling “through mysterious power”. For me, this has also become a visceral feeling of inner connection to all that is.

When I look at politics in the USA today, I see us humans fighting to keep our separateness. Instead of love, support, and acceptance of others, I hear leaders proposing control and division. I hear FEAR dominating their conversations and proposals and ego-driven ambition pushing their own agendas. To me, this is the old way of thinking. We humans have thought this way for thousands of years, and look at what we are doing to ourselves and the planet because of this way of thinking. To me, this way of thinking is NOT WORKING. The other piece to this is that when we work together, I believe, we can conquer just about anything. That may mean that I (we) compromise with others, even if I (we) think I am (we are) right. I (We are) am not alone on this planet; I(we)need to consider others.

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
– Chief Seattle (1780-1866)

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Our Beautiful World, Including US

What stops you from being willing to get to know people from other cultures and ethnicities? Or do you have ideas how we can be more accepting of ALL people?

coral tree

coral color tree

Nature and the beautiful changes that our trees display each fall has always given me great joy.

tree from fall

multi color tree

What disturbs me is that we often don’t seem to see ourselves as beautiful as the world we live in, no matter what culture we come from.  While I was teaching people from all over the world of all ages for 23 years, I learned how beautiful we ALL are with all our DIFFERENCES. Our beauty comes from each of our spirits and how we treat each other and ourselves with kindness and respect.

kamie photo

from Ghana, Ireland, Spain, Jamaica, Cherokee Indian, and
Seminole Indian

If we do not accept ourselves, could this contribute to making us unable to accept people who look different from ourselves?

mom and son contrast

from England?, Ireland? Nigeria, and Osage Indian

One of the oldest quotes which appeared  on the wall of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece more than 2000 years ago was: “Know thyself“”

Learning to do this requires compassion for ourselves, as well as self-reflection, which we can do with discipline and humility, one day at a time. And when the going gets rough,  as we tell the truth about ourselves and our lives, we may have to reach out for help. Knowing yourself is worth it and changes your life!

What are some other sources of our lack of acceptance of people from other cultures?

children from Iran

from Iran, Turkey, England, and France,

From the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology the idea of ethnocentrism might be another explanation.

“Ethnocentrism is a belief that the norms, values, ideology, customs, and traditions of ones own culture or subculture are superior to those characterizing other cultural settings. The term was coined by William Graham Sumner in his Folkways (1906) and has long served as a cornerstone in the social analysis of culture. ”

girls from Japan and USA

from Japan, England, France,  and Switzerland

I ask myself, what emotion encourages some one to be ethnocentric? I think it could be the emotion, FEAR, which can be helpful to us at certain times, but not when we are dealing with people who just look different from ourselves.

women from Mexico, Somalia

from Mexico, El Salvador,
 and Somalia

“Fear defeats more people than any one thing in the world.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Also about fear Emerson said:

“He/She who is not everyday conquering some FEAR has not learned the secret of life.”

Thank you, Emerson!

What stops you from being willing to get to know people from other cultures and ethnicities? Or do you have ideas how we can be more accepting of ALL people? Please share them.

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