How Love Solves More Problems Than Aggression
A few years ago, I received a random email from a boy around 15 that said, “You are an old b*#ch and should stop trying to look so hot and stop acting like a whore." Wow. That was quite a message to wake up to that day. I didn't know the boy. I didn't know why I received it. All I knew was that my first thoughts were how immature he was and how sorry I felt for his parents. Then, as I was going off in my head about this boy, I realized I was acting in the same manner he was. I stopped dead in my tracks and took a breath and did something I had never done before up to that point. For whatever reason, in that moment, I decided to act with love. I decided this boy needed it.
I wasn't sure why that thought came to me, but I knew it was right. It didn't have to be a lecture telling him how childish and rude he was and how he would learn to behave better one day or anything like that. It only needed to be a loving response. I wrote back, “Love and peace to you" and signed my name. That was it and I went on my merry way. The next morning I saw in my inbox that I had a new message and the sender was this boy. My heart sank as I prepared for whatever rudeness I was about to read. What I saw almost knocked me over.
The message simply said, “I'm sorry for what I wrote yesterday. I'm just a young, immature kid and I hope you can forgive me." I think I re-read that email about 10 times in that moment and had the biggest smile on my face. It was right there that I knew for sure that love and kindness is always the way to go in any situation. I learned right then, that if I had reacted in the same manner as him, then any lesson he could've learned would have been lost through the nasty things I would've said. By acting from a place of love and kindness, he was able to see his behavior clearly and soberly. I see it happen every day. I see people go back and forth in fighting and never see how they play a major part in what is happening.
The woman blocking a door at the grocery store while on her phone will never see how she was being self-absorbed and selfish because all she will talk about and remember is the “crazy" woman who went off on her for being in the way. The guy not letting the other driver in on the freeway won't see that he was not being courteous. He will only remember the “animal" on the road who flipped him off and blared his horn. The woman at Starbucks who didn't hold the door open for someone will not see how she was rude but will instead remember the angry woman who mumbled under her breath calling a few choice words. All of those people now go about their day, being upset, unhappy, and pissed off. Then they will shar that negative energy with all the people they come across. Do you see how this cycle works?
When faced with challenging situations, allow love and kindness to guide you in all that you do. We never know what the other person is going through on that particular day and we would only hope that we would get the same forgiveness when we behave poorly. If you have trouble doing this, keep this in mind: A.L.L.O.W. (Always Let Love Offer Wisdom).
No one is perfect, and if we can remember that most people want to be loved and felt appreciated, we can begin to act from this place of love and witness as everyone and everything in our lives begins to change. I have gone from having a drama-filled life, to being surrounded by so much love simply because I am giving it out. It's not always easy, but it is worth it.
I alone cannot bring about world peace, but I can bring inner peace to myself and to my immediate surroundings by with kindness, love, and compassion. We are all responsible for the energy that we bring into a room and into the world. Start thinking about what you want to leave behind when you walk out of a room. Do you want to be that person that brings joy into it and leaves others with a smile or do you want to be that person that brings everyone down when you are around and then can't wait for you to leave? We have choices in every single moment, and even when it might seem hard to take the higher road, it is possible and it will bring forth a gentler and kinder world for others, and, most importantly, for yourself.
I wrote back to that boy, “Of course I forgive you. I was immature once, too. Still am sometimes." He simply responded with a smile. A special thank you goes out to that young man for his apology and for allowing me now to be led by a life of compassion, kindness, love, and forgiveness.