“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The world is watching. Like a black comedy, a country that considers itself a super power and the world leader has taken decency and the democratic process to an all-time low. Those of us in other countries are grateful to be at least somewhat removed from the circus. On the surface, it is hard to fathom that a caricature of despicableness has risen to the potentiality of becoming the President of the United States of America.
In spite of our gains in civility and tolerance, the dark side of humanity is rearing its brutish head with a ferocious roar. In my research for understanding the anatomy of cancer, I can see more clearly why one in three people are now diagnosed with the dreaded disease. Like an individual cancer, the metastatic spread of hate throughout a society is fed by primal fear. Trump is a towering symbol of our deepest fears and our darkest dissatisfaction within—our feelings that we are not enough. The more afraid we are and the lower our self-worth, the more irrational our decision-making.
Digging deeper, I wanted an answer. What is the antidote to the cancer epidemic? To people feeling so fearful that they think they need to carry guns? To police shooting wantonly at another human because of the color of his skin—well after the era of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Rosa Parks? And to the shocking acceptability of a presidential candidate calling women carrying a few extra pounds “fat pigs,” of being an indisputable misogynist, and of riling the masses into a frenzy of blatant bigotry?
In my search, I listened to innumerable near-death experiences of people from all walks of life, many highly educated, some atheist. In nearly every account, they were told the answer to life is simply, love. The whole point of living is love. The universe is connected by love.
I asked myself: in my insulated life, what does that mean? What does it look like if love is the answer and the meaning of life?
I think it means I must love even when I am rejected. I must pick myself up and keep my heart open. I must love through my judgments and find acceptance. I must love (give/share) even when I am in lack. And I must love myself, not just in spite of my circumstances or perceived failures, but even more so because of them.
Darkness looms right now in a feverish and vulgar manner. We can choose to bitterly war with our colleagues, friends, and families over this battle of the lesser of two evils, or, we can choose love. (Even in Canada, we are at odds with each other over this American nightmare.)
That big love begins with the self, with knowing that we are enough. With knowing that we need not feel our survival is at stake because of another’s beliefs. With knowing that we can take responsibility for our own lives and outcomes rather than casting blame on others for our lot in life. Love thrives when we discover a sense of safety and security within instead of expecting someone outside of us to save or protect us from some ephemeral danger. It comes with knowing that love and compassion is the answer and that division and derision will never heal the world or “make America great again.”
In my piece, An Open Letter to a ‘Trumpistic’ Abuser, I shared my frustrations about the lack of evolution and enlightenment of rape culture, a newly opened wound which has incited revelations of sexual abuse and assault in record numbers and a #notokay backlash in social media.
But when I visualize myself stepping back as a distant observer of planet Earth, I want to embrace her offspring and coo them into calmness. I see a misguided and pedantic Pied Piper, a man deeply insecure and sorely in need of self-love, leading the downtrodden and despondent into a place he himself cannot define. When I step into the role of the observer, I can find compassion for this character and his posse of followers. I know their pain. I know their feelings of inadequacy and disempowerment. I can relate to their panic that they will never get what they want or need. I know the sensation of fear masquerading as a monster. I understand that they desperately crave a savior—no matter the guise he wears.
In Christianity, there is a belief in the Rapture. In New Age circles, there is a belief that a new Earth is being birthed. As the world watches to see what unfolds, we have the chance to step up and—act by act, choice by choice—build a new Earth. According to the hundreds of near death experiences I reviewed, every single small act of love counts. Each extended kindness matters. All choices of compassion toward another resonate out like a never-ending ripple in an ocean throughout the world. This is amazing and affords us a tremendous power to individually make a big difference. According to all of the masters who have come to teach us, love is always the way.
When do we finally understand that love is not trite or trivial? When do we at last concede that love is the real power behind all we have ever dreamed of for ourselves, our children, and humanity at large?
Life needs your light now more than ever. No matter what happens on November 8th, let us remember around the world that we are all in this together.
And that love trumps everything.
Post © Wanda St.Hilaire