Be the love you want to see in the world around you. How many times have we heard this or words similar to this effect?
So what gets in the way? Why do we still seem to struggle even with those we are closest to, our family and friends?
Firstly, for many centuries on this planet, we have been taught, through fear and force, a set of values and beliefs that suited those who wanted to gain power and maintain this. As the generations passed we have been born into these now well established belief systems. We are socialised from our earliest days to integrate these into the fabric of our lives. They dictate our behaviour, our desires, our goals, how we see ourselves and others and much more. Yet what many of us have begun to realise is that these so called truths to live by are simply myths or illusions and old dogma that no longer serve us or the planet.
Those of us who are awakening to the truth of who we are, beings of love and light created by the All that is, one energy that runs through all living energy, understand that we are powerful creative beings who are capable of creating whatever we choose for our lives. Our sole purpose is to be love and achieve peace and joy. We are beginning to understand that beliefs, such gender stereotypes, those suggesting lack of resources, that we are all in competition, that the would is a threatening place “it is you against the world”, there is a right and wrong way to do things, to name some are getting in the way of us living our lives to our full potential and creating the kind of world that we all want to live in. It is time for change!!
One would think that once we awaken to the illusion it would be easy to decide we don’t want this anymore and begin our truth. However, it has proven not so simple. These beliefs have become patterns of behaviour deeply ingrained in our daily lives and actions and so many around us still believe in and value them remaining, as yet, unaware of the truth of who they are. Changing is often not supported or role modelled by those around us. Thus it is easy to forget our new truths and the important goals that stem from these and to fall back into familiar habits. It takes conscious effort and continual recommitment to stay in love in every moment of every day.
We are born into a world where everyone is learning. This is the purpose of our lives here, to learn, grow and evolve. None of us are perfect and we often make mistakes, a necessary part of the learning process. They help us, if we are conscious and aware, to recognise what not to do next time or how we would like to improve. Our mistakes impact on those around us as we are social beings in a world where we relate with others for large portions of each day.
As social beings, the ability to share with others is imperative. Yet for all the apparent complexities and intricacies of our various languages, our tools remain extremely primitive and limited on earth. How many times have we all tried to communicate how we are feeling or what we need and somehow been misunderstood?
Many human beings also love the drama we create with old belief systems. The highs and the lows, revelling in the “poor me” low moments, the passion and adrenaline rushes that come from taking a stand, moral high ground or feeling righteous. We love to watch the arguments, the tears, the leaping off the cliff, the jealousy. Why else would the television dramas and reality tv shows be so popular. It can be addictive and hard to move away from. When we embrace the truth of who we are and stay conscious in this, we inevitably have to step back from the drama.
True peace and joy are never achieved through drama. The wise soul is aware of this and therefore seeks to stay in love and light, the only way to achieve these states of being. Those of us who have had the opportunity to experience what these states feel like do not want these moments to end as we recognise how truly wonderful this is. It is far superior to the emotions one feels through drama.
So when we put these elements together, the love of drama, deeply ingrained beliefs systems and patterns of behaviour, the fact that we are still learning and make mistakes that can hurt ourselves and others and that our communication tools are often inadequate to express ourselves clearly, no wonder there are so many unhappy and deeply wounded souls walking the earth. Is it any wonder that we have all learned to carry with us as we go through our days, a sword and a shield?
So what is this idea of the sword and shield?
As children formative years on earth, we learn it is common to be hurt by other humans, that those closest to us, who are charged with our very survival and love us, will inevitably hurt us in some way and likely more than once. As such, we also learn to develop our shields and many of us, a sword. The shields protect us and the swords are for when we feel the need to go on the attack. Just like in the wars of the world.
What are our shields? They are the brick walls we build around ourselves to try to prevent being hurt again. We close off to our emotions, isolate ourselves from others, stop listening, deflect blame and avoid dealing with issues that might lead to conflict and facing responsibilities.
What are our swords? These are our offensive anger towards others, blaming, competing, push the other down in order to achieve power. This is aggression. It might involve physical violence, standover tactics, manipulation, putting others down or verbal attacks “Well what about you? You are not so great yourself”.
We stop trying to communicate to work through situations cooperatively and to try to find a Win:Win solution for all. We turn off our compassion, caring, kindness and our love. All the parts of us that are the truth of who we are. We fall headlong into the illusions, the drama that has been created by the inferior minds of human beings. We lose sight of the soul beings that we truly are, the vastly superior wisdom of the soul and the goals that our soul has set for us when we commence our lives on this planet.
Negativity always breads more negativity. We will never solve the problems of the world with this energy. The only way to create love and peace is through the expression of love and peace and the positive energy that comes from this. To be loving and create peace is to express compassion, kindness, harmony, contentment, understanding, trust, faith, acceptance, empathy, humour, delight, joy and playfulness.
In order to help us become more loving, let’s start with the premise that as the very least, our friends and family and possibly most of our colleagues, neighbours and even the stranger on the street, do not mean us harm. Most of us are just trying to get through our days and our lives as peacefully and happily as we can.
If we start from this assumption and remain conscious of the fact that we are all imperfect beings and we make mistakes that can be hurtful, perhaps when someone we know or love says or does something that feels hurtful to us, maybe they did not mean to. Maybe we can make room for the possibility that a mistake or miscommunication has occurred.
So in other words, lets consider the other person’s possibly intent. Think about when you love someone or even just like them. How often do you wake up in the morning with the intent to harm them? Hardly ever if at all? Well okay then. Perhaps we might be able to make room for the possibility that the other, hardly ever, if at all, intends to hurt us.
So when the hurt does occur, and it will. Next time, try to practise, “Stop, think, respond”. Take a breath, acknowledge how you have felt, then ask yourself, does this person really mean to hurt me? Where is my evidence for that? If I don’t have any evidence, then perhaps it was a mistake.
Next, ask yourself, if it was a mistake or miscommunication on your part, what would you like the other person to do to respond? Perhaps you would hope that they might say something to you to check the situation out like “Mike, what you just said/did really hurt my feelings. I am assuming that you did not mean that. I wonder if there has been a miscommunication here? Could I ask you to try to explain again what you meant so I can understand and respond?” Or perhaps “The way that you just spoke to me really hurt my feelings, I am sure you did not mean to but I wonder if there is a way that you can communicate what you need to say again in a different way that might feel more gentle to me?”
You could also “stop, think and respond” when you need to communicate to someone else by considering “what is my true motive here? Do I want to hurt this person? How could I proceed with this interaction with a win:win outcome in mind? How would I deal with this from a gentle and caring space?
Let’s put our swords and our shields down and simply try approaching others from a loving place and and intention to do no harm. Let’s also respond to others from a space that will not escalate the harm that we might perceive that has been done to us and take this moment as a teaching opportunity since we are all hear to learn. If you are able to share, gently, with the other person how you felt and be honest and open with them from a calm perspective, it is a great teaching moment for you both.
Let’s all begin to start by considering our intention in our communications and let’s always begin to communicate with the intention to show love and respect to the other as we would want them to do for us. Let’s all lead and teach by example.
No wars shall end with aggression, peace on earth shall be won through expression of love only.