Choosing Love in Politics and Life
October 22, 2013 by Amy Leigh Mercree
Filed under Activism, Advocacy, Empowerment, Finding Your Voice, Freedom, Healthy Communication, LGBT, Loving Your Body, Politics, Role Models, Self Esteem, Self-Acceptance, Self-Care, Self-Compassion, Spirituality, Volunteering, Wellness, Wellness
Well, I thought my first post for We Are the Real Deal, one of my favorite sites, would be about healthy relationships or self-empowerment but it turns out something kind of amazing has happened: someone has announced a political campaign based on love and dignity and I want to celebrate that with you today.
Marianne Williamson, whose book A Return to Love spent 39 weeks on the bestseller list announced her candidacy for the California House on Sunday. She is running on a platform of non-violence.
In honor of that, let’s talk about some of the principles of non-violence as set forth by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi and how they translate not only in how we treat others but also in how we treat ourselves.
Dr. King said, “Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation.” Instead of fighting, peace is sought and honest, fair dialogue is used to resolve disagreements. He went on to say, “Keep all actions and negotiations peaceful and constructive. Agree to disagree with some people and with some groups as you work to improve society. Show all involved the benefits of changing, not what they will give up by changing.” Imagine a world where those principles are used regularly. What an honoring and peaceful place that could be.
Next, let’s delve into the microcosmic impact this can have on our daily lives. If we choose to truly listen to someone toward whom we feel anger and seek true understanding of who they are and their choice of behavior, what would happen? How would our lives be different? We could turn that same level of acceptance on ourselves. That would mean continually endeavoring to understand who we are and accept ourselves with caring and self-friendship. That simple choice would have a immediate positive impact on our quality of life.
Dr. King also said, “Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolent love is active, not passive.” Love is a massively transformative force. It changes absolutely everything. Loving ourselves is the single most powerful way to better our lives. So, how about actively loving ourselves? That could mean living from a foundation of love for ourselves and understanding that we are perfect, just as we are. We would then actively treat ourselves with love by listening to our hearts and honoring our beings. That would mean we would do only what feels right to us and take conscious actions aligned with our self-love. We would talk to ourselves with love. Everyone who makes that choice can become an extensive force of caring and consideration starting on the inside and radiating out through life.
“Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated,” is a far reaching principle set forth by Dr. King. Gandhi said some similar things, like, “All life is one. We are called to celebrate both our differences and our fundamental unity with others. We reaffirm our unity with others when we transform ‘us’ versus ‘them’ thinking and doing. Our oneness calls us to want, and to work for, the well-being of all. The nonviolent journey is a process of becoming increasingly free from fear.”
Interconnection is at the heart of everything we do whether we choose to see it or not. How we treat ourselves informs how we treat others and therefore how they treat others and so on and so forth. Each action, word, and thought radiates out through our world. Love is the remedy for fear. Choose love. No matter what you think about politics, world affairs, or anything else, if you personally act with love and regard for yourself and others you will be a part of creating a better world. That is the real deal!