Love, Hate and the Velveteen Rabbit

 Love, Hate and the Velveteen Rabbit

In the tiny village in Mexico where I live, violence recently threw a horrifying shadow over our community. The details aren't important, there's nothing that can be done to undo damage to the families who lost their loved ones.

In addition to the sadness I feel for my neighbors, I'm left to evaluate and re-frame my beliefs about what it means to live here and how it feels to be faced with the ugly face of hate.

Hate is an insidious thing; it hides in the dark recesses of the psyche like a parasitic virus, hiding its true nature within something else - a belief, a cause, a religion, a club, a society, a gang, a government. While criminal haters easily bear its label, hate hides so well that many of its carriers may not recognize it for what it is and confuse it with opinion, principle, tradition, prejudice, intolerance. The softer stuff that thrives quietly under the radar.

No one can control the actions of others, or circumstances outside of our control. But what we can do is look within - like a gorilla searching for lice - and take an honest look at our real motives for whatever negativity we are hiding in our hearts.

The sunlight is a great cleanser and time is the ultimate healer. We may have to wait for both to cleanse and heal us from things outside of our control, in their own time - but we are fully empowered to cure those negative things we harbor within ourselves.

Today I search my memory, my heart and my soul - for negative thoughts, lingering prejudices, areas of unforgiving, hurtful gossip, and most of all, those tiny lies we tell ourselves to disguise the disease of hate - whether the tiniest cell or a malignant tumor, a blurred shade of gray or the zebra stripes of black and white.

I think of the Velveteen Rabbit when times get dark, and his journey to become worthy of being loved. The question is always, worthy of being loved by whom? Love starts within me, and moves outward. It's an outward-bound thing that returns like a boomerang to its source. So it's not really about who else loves me - it's about me loving me enough to be my authentic self.

Love attracts, heals, inspires. So in light of what has happened in this lovely village by the lake, I won't let the shadows of hate defeat me, limit me, scare me. I will be smart, I will be careful, and I will be diligent - but I won't be driven out of the home I love. And I won't ever, ever, ever, let hatred, fear or violence win. It may cast its shadow over me, but it will never find a place to roost inside of me.

Today I will focus on pouring the love out to those around me who need the reassurance that the sun does come out tomorrow and time does heal all wounds. I will be there to remind them every day that kindness exists, that love outweights hate, that humanity supercedes apathy.

That's how I will create happiness in the face of grief, joy in the shadows of sadness. I will simply love - and feel the warmth of that bonfire our humanity as it burns up all that is rotten in the world.

Golden Key #12 says "We Become Who We Really Are When We Learn to Love Ourselves. When We Love Ourselves Unconditionally, We Become Real. When We Become Real, We Create Happiness." The act of loving yourself allows you to exist as your True Creative Self, which is a state of empowerment in which you can harness your creative energy to pursue your dreams, live in peace and create a life of everlasting happiness.

Like the children’s story about a velveteen rabbit that becomes real when he is loved, we all seek love. But in real life, it is when we learn to give it to ourselves that we become real, and that we have the abundance of love available to change the world. Because we cannot give to others, what we don't possess.

Own it, nurture it, become it - and then share that most precious commodity with your family, community and world. There is a major shortage at the moment.