The solution to all that ails the world today has always been love. The solution is love, because only through the eyes of love can we see the beauty latent in ugliness and only by the fires of love can we offer warmth in the coldness. The solution is love because only in love are we humble, honest, and willing to hurt enough; and only for love will we take the risks and responsibility required.
The solution is to seek out all of those things we would rather not see – the sore spots and bruises, the blood and dirt, the places where neglect and repetitive damage have led to infection and decay. It’s to find them, to forgive them, and to treat them with tender attention and compassionate care.
The solution is to start by acknowledging the wounds so we can finally get to work cleaning and stitching them. It’s to stop confusing detachment with denial, and to stop mistaking activism for aggression. The solution is to stop allowing soul-centeredness to turn into solipsism and permitting the fires of introspection to devolve into the ashes of indifference.
The solution begins with acknowledging the problem. It’s to uncover our eyes and really see the sick, sad, and starving. The solution is to uncover our ears and hear the cries, and listen to what they’re saying. The solution begins when we recognize rather than denying the injustices, the destruction, and the dis-ease.
The solution is to throw the door to our hearts wide open and let the cool breeze of compassion run through. The solution is to stop hiding behind thick walls of judgment, fear, and blame – to let down our guards, to open the gate, to surrender our pride and allow the world in.
The solution is to recognize that, though we wear different costumes, answer to different names, and take different roles, behind the scenes we’re all just spirits playing at being human and hoping to make some lasting connections along the way. It’s to strip away all of the labels and titles, costumes, roles, and standards that we’ve layered upon one another and empathize with the naked souls beneath.
The solution is to see that we are all woven together around the same common thread – the need for love, peace, and safety. It’s to stop trying to peel that thread apart, dividing each little string so as to label one as worthy and another as not. The solution is to weave in more connections until we’ve become a tapestry of unified strength – not to keep pulling pieces apart until all we’re left with is a pile of frayed fragments.
The solution is to recognize not only that this world is sick but also that no one is immune, that the same sins ailing others we are also carrying within ourselves. It’s to stop handing out blame like we’re racing to empty our hands, tucking it in wherever it might stick, attaching it to other peoples’ beliefs, cultures, wealth, race, and class. The solution is to stop and read for ourselves what we’ve so eagerly passed out to others.
The solution is to look within ourselves – in the deep places, the hidden places, the buried, dusty, and scary places. It’s to recognize that darkness can only reign where we fail to look, that awareness is the light that dispels all shadows.
The solution is absolution; it’s to turn the spotlight of our attention on the corners of our consciousness and the hidden parts of our hearts and to forgive whatever comes crawling out. The solution is to stop making the monsters hide and instead allowing them to show themselves so they finally have the chance to heal.
The solution is to focus on how we think and feel instead of pointing at what we hear and see.
The solution is to be in little ways what we would like to see in a big way – it’s to find peace in our own minds, to nurture love in our own hearts, to give forgiveness to our own enemies, and to share of our own goods. It’s to understand that the big things are just echoes of millions of little things, that the world can be changed one smile, one donation, one pardon, one hug, and one understanding at a time.
The solution is to plant on the inside what we so desperately want to see bloom on the outside. It’s to spend less money and more attention, to buy fewer things and more time. The solution is to ask less to be understood and work more on understanding. It’s to correct how we’re thinking about others rather than worrying what they think about us. The solution is to give more soul and take less stuff, to appreciate nature rather than depreciating it, and to enjoy what is rather than always lusting after what could be.
The solution is to be normal in our abnormalities, perfect in our imperfections. It’s to love ourselves just as we are, without ironing over the wrinkles and endlessly scrubbing at the stains so maybe we don’t have to point out every spot on others. The solution is to be openly vulnerable, to show that sometimes we’re scared and sometimes we hurt, to be honest about our mistakes and forthcoming with our struggles. It’s to give the world permission to be human by showing them that we are human ourselves.
The solution is to break out of our little bubbles. It’s to poke a hole in the carefully crafted containers that keep our love condensed and keep others’ struggles out. The solution is to let the love leak out and to let some of the world creep in – to help construct an atmosphere that we all can share.
The solution is to keep exponentially expanding our understanding of self until it includes every hungry child and hurting animal, every happy couple and heavenly star. And we must continue to love ourselves with each outstretching along the way, because love has always been and always will be the only lasting solution.
©2016 Cristen Rodgers
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