A Place of Love
Make decisions from a place of love.
This statement has become part of my mantra for the past month. It is a quick test to gauge my intentions. Spending more time in close proximity to family can create short fuses. I like to stop and question if my response or choice is made in hasty anger or comes from a place of love.
Again and again, I tell myself that I won’t ever regret making decisions from a place of love. My kids are navigating a new and uncharted social landscape. I’m trying to consider and process my parenting choices through a lens of love for them and our society at large. I can say the same thing about my role as a (now) online instructor, a business owner, a friend, and a partner.
My mom and I had a favorite Bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11. It speaks of God having plans to prosper and not to harm us. When I speak of making choices from a place of love, I think of these words. Are my decisions helpful or harmful? When my kids lash out at each other and tempers flare, I ask them afterward if it made them feel better. Hurt people hurt people. Wait it out. Don’t react in anger.
Do no harm.
Owning our actions might be the hardest part. Sometimes acting in love has to come in the form of self-love. In Being Peace, Thich Nhat Hahn writes, “If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we can’t share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof.” If I don’t take time to cultivate my own peace and happiness, I am not much use to the rest of my family. For me, it all begins with honing my awareness.
If I am only aware of lack and suffering (cue the “doomscrolling” of COVID-19), then happiness and peace are impossible. Of late, the news feed sucks my awareness down a dark rabbit hole. I have to act quickly to turn it around. Choosing to be aware of the sunshine, my loved ones, my health, my friends or the roof over my head, I can select the great antidote to suffering— gratitude.
Take a deep breath and look at the sky.
I mostly write what I need to hear, not to give advice or pretend to have answers. My moods and emotions are a continual series of peaks and valleys, and I need a constant reminder that if I can hone my awareness to the love that is abundant and available all around me, then I can flow with the waves without bottoming out.
I can better help others when I am at peace myself. Choose love then choose it again. It is a daily practice.
*Artwork by Conley Lewis.