We all need love.
Not as a reward, but as a necessity.
Understanding the power of love didn't come when loving was the choice that came easily. Like when choosing to love those who have been good to me.
The understanding of the power in responding with love came when I chose to act with love when it came to an enemy.
This kind of love has been a friend to me.
The kind of love that seeks to serve and self-preserve. This kind of love can empathize without needing to rationalize.
This love has brought clarity.
Navigating relationships with added acuity, all the while maintaining responsiveness to my own needs.
Our choices determine who we become. There are some who desire to be seen as great, or be understood as inherently good… all the while exploiting, oppressing, and silencing the voices who have experienced, differently. The desire to be seen for who they consciously choose not to be in action, leads to self-betrayal, self-loathing and shame.
We are the sum of our choices, after all.
For some, those decision points do not add up to the image they've created. Too focused on the charade to learn from their mistakes, or focus on personal growth, development and expansion.
Too busy destroying all of the evidence. Or, trying to destroy the people that point to their true identity. They are threatened by the truth, shared by those who have seen them in the harshest light.
They are terrified by those who lead with love and speak their truth.
The individuals who call out the false advertisement. Those who point at the unmarked graveyards, they unearth the shallow graves and lay it all out in plain sight.
Even still, despite egregious acts of hate, love sees the brokenhearted, and the departed, through the responses that harm.
Love understands the behaviour that screams for its attention.
Love sees the bitterness transmuted as self-destruction in action.
Sabotage. Disdain. Disregard.
The truest expression of humanity is our capacity to love one another and ourselves. Yet we struggle. An act of kindness is too tall an order when we do not find ourselves to be worthy. We do not have this love to be able to give it, freely.
So instead there is self-destruction.
The behavioural manifestation of the internal contradiction that is the desire to be seen, to be heard, and to be valued, while holding unto the belief that we have not merited the privilege of any of these things.
Because we are the sum of our choices.
We know we cannot be appreciated for who our actions have demonstrated that we are not.
We know we cannot be seen as having an outstanding character, when our choices signal that we do not.
Those who operate with hate would rather be buried in the truth of their failings, than embrace the path of growth.
But the cracks in the veneer are showing and the house of cards is falling. As the dust settles, all will be exposed.
So choose instead to harness the power in responding with love.
See the path that hatred leads to, and refuse to walk that road.
Boldly asking ourselves the question, "If we are the sum of our choices, what do your choices say about you?"