“The central theme for 2017 relates to issues of power. How we perceive and exercise power in difficult times shapes our outcome, personally and collectively. A clear line is being drawn. The stakes have never been higher, for humanity and all creation. In each moment our choice is clear-to open our hearts to the power of Love or to fearfully contract and assert our willful arrogance.”
At lunch yesterday my dear friend Wendy and I talked about Quakers. About their use of silence and their insistence on consensus. In Jodi Picoult’s latest book Great Small Pieces she talks about the Amish community and the power of belonging, of community, of being shunned, and of being loved.
I find it interesting that Andrea Mathieson says we have a choice: we can choose to open our hearts to love or we can choose to be fearful, to pull in and to be willfully arrogant. Why would we chose to open to love? Love can be hurtful when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and then love is withheld. Equally, love can be healing. Love can be the reason for staying alive, for making sacrifices, for being bold or brave, for stretching beyond who we think we are and becoming more than who we imagine ourselves to be.
Why would we chose to be fearful, to withhold and pull inward and be willful and arrogant? I expect because we believe the self we want to be or hope we are is in danger of being destroyed or denied or diminished. I think of Trump as willfully arrogant. And I believe him to ultimately be afraid. A scared little boy deep inside who has not known proper love or boundaries. A little boy who thought he had reason to see himself as more than he really was, more than others were, more than he had any right to be. And he grew up brandishing the sword of arrogant unearned power from a position of actual weakness, while being lied to and taught to believe he was powerful.
A naughty little boy allowed to get away…….yes, with murder. Certainly many many people are being denied home and safety because he is abusing his power, some will die because of decisions he has made.
Silence. Community. Love. Being held, physically and metaphorically. Kindness. Respect. All words Wendy and I put to our understanding of the Quaker and Amish communities. And all words I suspect, that found little space in the growing up life of the now President of the United States. He needs help. He won’t allow for it. He won’t welcome or accept it. But it is our job to take a hint from communities who know how to hold those who stray. We must hold steady, all of us who do not agree with what Trump is doing in our world. We must hold steady, we must show love for each other, and most of all, we must remember to be kind and generous.
How we perceive and exercise power, says Mathieson. She and I are talking about the power of Love, not the power of the sword. Love nurtures life, love strengthens the heart and soul, love makes the tough times bearable.
I have a stone in my office given to me by my dear friend Dawn who lives in Michigan with the following words painted on it: When the power of LOVE overcomes the love of power, the world will know PEACE. I do not know the author. But the truth of those words warms my heart.
Wendy, Dawn, Andrea, strong brave wise women. I am blessed. There are thousands more out there like these dear woman who are protesting, claiming their truth, shouting, singing, loving and giving. Let’s join them in our heart and intentionally lead with kindness tomorrow and the next day and the next….,
- I am grateful I know how to love
- I am grateful I have known and do know now what it is like to be loved
- I am grateful Canada is sane
- I am grateful there are millions of people who do not agree with Trump
- I am grateful for a very lovely long walk with Aimee, the cutest puppy on the plant, this morning
- I am grateful I have wise caring and advice for a couple I saw today
- I am grateful for my life, my family, my home, my circumstances.
Blessings and hope always, Nancy