Waging Love

Waging Love

I see you appear
Weighed down by your money and your fear
Ignorance and insecurity
Trying so desperately to be happy and free
By clinging on to power and control over your sisters and brothers
Threatening the life of our very Earth Mother
Exploiting her as you do her daughters
Polluting and selling and controlling our waters

I see you and you’re breaking my heart
Tearing families apart
Because of where they were born
Leaving poor families torn
Or by the color of their skin
Locking up our children

I see you-you’re as old as the country itself
Compromising our emotional health
You were there in the slave trade
The very fabric from which this country was made

You never learned the lessons
From your Smith and Wessons
And your fire hoses
Your fear exposes
Your vulnerabilities
You were there in manifest destiny
And you’re still trying so hard to be free
Locked in the prison of your hatred and insanity

You were there in the boarding schools
You were the criminally cruel policies
Stealing children from their families
With the stroke of a pen
We always knew we would see you again
And you’ve never really been that well hidden

Trying the same old tricks to no avail
Racist confusion will always fail
You are a sickness, an old disease
Let us help you with your suffering please

Its time for us to heal
To let go and release
To recognize our common humanity
To awaken to the reality
Of our shared existence
Our interdependence
So let’s stop pretending

Let’s turn towards our hearts rather than our screens
Let’s listen to the joys and also the screams
Let’s grow compassion in our democracy
Every one is essential for us to be free
Everyone’s essential for us to be free

How do we wage love in the face of hatred and violence? How do we reach courage and understanding, compassion and bravery in ourselves and in our communities while surrounded by the distracted confusion of fear and ignorance?

I ask these questions after yet another senseless act of hatred and violence has ripped through the hearts of our country. I recognize the seeds of grief, fear, and anger that are touched within me. I hold them gently with mindfulness, allowing these energies to transform into compassion. I invite the energy of compassion to guide my actions into working towards the solution, towards peace. I am reminded that “there is no way to peace, peace is the way.” Lord, help me walk the way of peace.

I know that in order to do this I need to continue to allow the anger, fear, and ignorance in my own heart and mind to be transformed by the guiding light of mindfulness, wisdom, and insight. I need to sing love and invite the Holy Spirit to help me awaken to the reality of my shared interbeing with all my relations.

I turn my heart towards gratitude for the many blessings in my life. For my beautiful wife Allison and the gift of our relationship. For the healing power of music and for the many people and communities with whom we are blessed to share songs. For the previous generations who have gone before and who make a way of peace for me now. For the water that flows and gives us all life. For the laughter and playfulness of children. For this breath.

Breathing in, I recognize anger
Breathing out, I embrace anger with mindfulness
Recognizing anger, embracing with mindfulness

Breathing in, I recognize fear
Breathing out, I embrace fear with compassion
Recognizing fear, embracing with compassion

Breathing in, I feel grief
Breathing out, I hold the grief gently
Feeling grief, holding gently

Breathing in, I recognize compassion
Breathing out, I offer compassion to myself and others
Compassion for myself, compassion for others

Breathing with you,
Joe

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