With tension towards violence elevated on a national level today, we thought it apropos to publish Andrea’s Fighting is Easy (Love is Hard) article that she originally wrote in April 2014 as a blogger for The Spirited Woman.
By Andrea Chilcote
When the same lessons show up say, three or even four times in a row, I listen. The lessons this week point to one principle: we are all connected. If you doubt that, just pay attention to the influence you have on other people – and vice versa.
After a day of travel in which I seemed to either transform potentially difficult situations into positive ones, or nearly jeopardized my on-time agenda simply because of my own negative energy about the situation, I paused to take it in. I had felt a little off since leaving the house Tuesday morning, sensing heightened emotions whenever I was in contact with other people. Was I picking up on their state of being, or transferring my own to them?
I asked my friend Debbie if she was experiencing something similar. Here’s what she said:
“What affects one affects everyone. When you recognize that you are not in alignment, or are in a state of resistance – you have physical pain, emotional stress or not so good experiences – simply correct course and head back to a state of love. As we reflect love out, it will be reflected back.”
Fighting is easy. Being right, being the victim and being burdened is easy. Rising up is hard. Love is hard – but it’s so worth it.
Okay, I got it. The message was one of those “simple not easy” ones. Then I had a conversation with a colleague that went something like this:
“I get so frustrated with myself about everything – mistakes I make or needs I know I have but don’t make time or space for. And then the more frustrated I get, the more paralyzed I become. I tell myself how bad it is, and then of course it becomes so.”
She sounded like she was fighting with herself. Immediately, I thought about my travel lessons. I had begun to “fight” with the Avis clerk about who was right, and the conversation spiraled downward. I stopped in the middle, and focused on being compassionate – loving even – in the moment. I got my car, and was on my way.
I suggested to my colleague that she consider giving up the fight and instead treat herself with compassion. It seemed to me that she – and none of us really – have the luxury of negativity. Even though it’s the easy way.
Then, as if to confirm my premise, a book review arrived this morning via email with this excerpt from The Nonviolence Handbook by Michael Nagler. The subject line was “Violence is the Easier Path.”
“Nonviolence is not the recourse of the weak but actually calls for an uncommon kind of strength; it is not a refraining from something but the engaging of a positive force.”