Hatred will not cease by hatred,
But only by love.
This is an ancient and eternal law.
— The Buddha
I woke up this morning with a burning heart, and sat with grief and fear while trying to write. “Mocha next to me. I feel my love for her. That’s all there is.” I have tried to make lists of gratitudes. I think it’s a valuable practice, but although I know I am thankful for things — my dog, my car, a roof over my head — I don’t actually feel grateful. Which always makes me worry that I’m not really grateful. So I started to write about all the things I love, and fear are being slowly or quickly destroyed. Something totally unexpected happened. My heart opened and I felt a lot of love, for the underdogs, the outcasts, the marginalized and vulnerable. I realize that my heart opens whenever people are in trouble. I’m so glad to have this, it’s all I have. I wrote:
I love the Dakota people and their supporters at Standing Rock
I love the people in the LGBTQ community
I love the rivers that will be poisoned by fracking, and the rivers that are still clean.
I love the trees that clean the air for us, and that are targeted for exploitation.
I love the people of Flint, Michigan, who are still having to drink poisoned water, or pay for clean water.
I love the immigrants, the Muslims, the disabled who have been targeted by our fascist government-elect.
I love the underdogs who are struggling with a burden too great to be borne. I even love the underdogs who wanted change so badly they voted for Trump, and had no idea what he had planned to do.
I love Mocha, and I love the trees around my house, and I love the birds that I see.
That helps a lot. It seems that it’s easier for my heart to open for things that are in trouble. That’s always been true, hasn’t it?