Stir up the love!

It has been interesting to look back at some of the posts I’ve written relating to animals and to compare them to our mission statement. Sometimes my attitude when writing about animals doesn’t quite reflect the magnanimous tenants that those of us on Life As a Wave believe in. I think to myself, “Will people read the mission statement and then wonder how I can be hating on the king of Spain or factory farm workers?!”

I know that at the gut level it is hard for me to feel anything but disgust toward people who are exploiting or abusing animals; it is next to impossible to feel that I am connected to them on some metaphysical level as two waves of the same grand ocean. Yet from time to time I am inclined to step back and ask myself to check in with that contempt and judgment that I harbor for them. Are those people not me? Am I not them? Don’t I exist only as part of their existence?

Hold on. That’s too deep for right now…It’s almost 1am for goodness sakes. Let’s start again.

Basically, it is good to love. So yes, I love animals. I can love my loving neighbor. I can love my family. But can I love the (alleged) enemy in this scenario? Can I love the people who are performing vivisection? Or who are skinning animals alive for fur?  Are they really even my enemy? (By the way, sometimes when I see my own writing style I think I should just rename this blog, The Blog of Important Rhetorical Questions.) When I step out of my gut and get into that place of higher self I realize that there is love in me for them. It takes work to plug into it and it may be just a fraction of its potential, but it is there. I don’t like what they do and I would take action to make them stop but I don’t hate their essence…because I truly think it springs from the same source as mine. We are not so different.

I can feel compassion and sorrow for them. I can acknowledge my ignorance of their experiences and pains. I can wish for them better. I can hope for them joy and peace and happiness…just like I hope those for myself. It does my soul good to remember all of this. It stirs up my Love. And I want to act out of Love. I don’t want my advocacy to become aggression, neither mental nor physical. And I don’t want my compassion to diminish. I don’t want to vilify.

I recently heard a sermon given by Ishmael Tetteh in which he used the following analogy to describe our existence:

“Every wave comes into being by the collective power of the entire ocean.”

One wave would not be, were it not for every other wave. And every other wave would be be were it not for that one. Obviously this reminded me of our blog. And thinking about our mission statement–about what it means to live this life as a wave–is what led me think about all of this that I’m now writing. My new mantra, solemnly taped to by bathroom mirror, is:

“I come into being by the collective power of the entire universe.”

This is true moment by moment and eternally. I believe it. I believe I come into being through connection to every other person, galaxy, drop of rain, tree, animal, and ocean wave. So I guess it’s not too deep after all to ask about people “Don’t I exist only as part of their existence?” My best conclusion right now is, Yes.

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7 thoughts on “Stir up the love!

  1. It is so nice to read about thoughts that I can very much relate to. It is hard and – for me – a constant challenge in life to feel compassion for the people who behave in ways, that are not only not easy to understand, but ways that actually cause harm and pain. But I also believe… most days at least… that we all act out of the urge to fulfill some sort of need. So we are not acting against anything but FOR something. So thank you for sharing your thoughts on compassion for “the enemy”. I really enjoyed the read!

    • Thanks, ninapolo! It was so funny that the day after I wrote this, I was at church at Agape Center in L.A. and ended up sitting in front of a guy who must have been visiting with his family or something because he was snickering and mocking the service the whole time! Kind of doing one of those things where his comments were just loud enough for the people around him to to hear. I REALLY had to put my love into high gear and follow my own advice from this post! lol! But yes! I agree with you! It’s all out of a need for something. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have and we need each other’s love to do better. Thanks for replying!

  2. to read your words causes an echo through the thoughts in my mind. you write so eloquently the beliefs that are so close to my own. animal rights & trying to send out the message of love through my actions & thoughts. it is difficult to be always diligent in living completely in the positive. i know i vacilate between both poles of positive & the negative but i just need to do what i struggle to accomplish & be content with the way i live my life & try not to think badly that i am not perfect.

    • Thank you for the compliment, s.k. I vacillate also and always have. I had a therapist once who taught me to change the way I thought about the “bad,” “imperfect,” “negative” parts of my psyche…to see them not as enemies, but as parts of me that are trying to rescue me from something. Trying to guard me. I stopped using that vocabulary and realized that I had everything in my highest Self that I needed to transform those parts. To help them instead of hate them. I suppose the kind of love and gentleness that we need to extend to others we also need to extend to ourselves.

      • My therapist is trying t get me to love myself more & to understand why my feelings are what they are. I want to be filled with love but the other side of me has many things to work out in therapy so that I can release the negative in a positive way. (How Ironic.) During my whole life until now I have always tried to be kind. With animals I find this the easiest thing to be. I love animals so much. True compassion lives within me for all creatures that are not human. It is humans that I have a difficult time with. I love the many as a group of world citizens but on a personal level there are some when they cause harm to animals & other humans, esp. children I find it difficult to raise a feeling of love in my heart for how they are abusive. It is not something where I find forgiveness easily. I am a work in progress. Looking forward to getting to know your blog & your insights.

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