Monday, October 14, 2013

Love Wins

I've been thinking about fear and shame and the people who wound us and why we are susceptible to being so hurt by people we often do not even know after a post from a friend and having the opportunity to watch Malala Yousafzai's interview with Jon Stewart.

How is it that some people are able to look into the eyes of one who intends to wound them and simply speak love?

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If you are a parent, it has likely happened to you:

Some act by your child is misunderstood (or just blatantly lied about) by another parent who either confronts you or audibly criticizes your parenting to others in the vicinity. There are few things in life that will throw a mama (or daddy) into that kind of boiling rage, especially if your child is being blamed for something in which said "other parent's child" was actually the culprit.

My stomach turns just thinking about it.

The situation is rife with primal instincts to protect our children and selves as well as social implications and consequences.

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I have a deep respect for Glennon Doyle Melton who blogs at momastery.com, and Glennon has three brief truths that define the community at Momastery, how she approaches life and, I think, what it means to live out the call in Christ Jesus to "love one another":

We can do hard things. Love wins. We belong to each other.


If you put any difficult decision, conundrum, or potential reaction through the lens of these "truths," how we respond to the world around us gets very, very simple.

I said simple, not easy.


Take my friend. Emotions run high when we start talking about how we parent and defending our babies. Based on my friend's retelling of the situation, clearly the mother with whom she was interacting was not operating from the premise that "we belong to each other."

However, despite the world around us, we define who we will become. Imagine if at every difficult decision, every gut reaction, every time we find ourselves defending our intentions, we let that simple three-truth mantra run through our heads, like a little improved serenity prayer?

Imagine how that might change the affect our day has on us? I say "imagine" because I will be the first to admit, I'm not there yet. Especially if that someone is a sibling (wink), someone from my past who has hurt me, or, God forbid, my ever-loving, energetic, often loud, always boisterous, rarely obedient children.

 I tell you what, I fall short more often than I manage to love.

But here's the kicker.

It doesn't just apply to how we treat "other people."

It applies to how we treat ourselves. 

So when we have a crabby crappy day and we've been a monster of a mother?

We can do hard things. Love wins. We belong to each other.

And the hard thing is often acknowledging we were wrong, making amends, forgiving ourselves and starting afresh. But if we belong to each other and your life is inextricably dependent on mine, don't I owe it to you to forgive myself?

If we see one another (and ourselves) as wounded, fearful souls (no matter what exterior we portray) we empower ourselves to operate from a place of grace and love.

And love? That has transformative power.

You have power, my friend.

Embrace it and all you are called to be so that no one can wound you with her fear and shame because when your response is to love even those least deserving, there is nothing to fear.

Love wins.