“Those that hate, hate with conviction,” said Marianne Williamson. I got goose bumps.
She was alluding to the terrorist group in the Middle East, ISIS, but commenting on hate groups in general during her lecture “Love as a Global Force” in Ottawa last April. She observed how convincing and public they were with their conviction. She touched on the fact that those who hate seem to talk continuously about their cause while revelling in the destructive deeds done in the name of perpetuating their passion, openly showing their pleasure at the havoc wrought by their hate. On hearing these last words, my goose bumps melted away as the despair seeped in and I wondered if there was a solution. Marianne had one.
“We need to love with conviction,” she said.
Like an electric current her words shot through my body and those three words, love with conviction, have been rattling around in my brain ever since.
During her lecture Marianne suggested that most of us only love on the surface. But, to combat the hate in the world we would have to love deeply, and probably more deeply than the ‘haters’ hated. The problem is, however, that most of us express love only when we’re in the mood, with the people we feel like, on the days that suit us…sometimes.
And it’s not working.
It’s not working because I believe that loving with conviction must be a daily practice, but it is one that is often viewed as an impossible chore. Many don’t have a choice when it comes to some daily practices, such as my son with juvenile diabetes who must administer medicine every day or die. Rain or shine, happy or sad, awake or sleepy, they have to step up because when they don’t keep up with these practices they are done.
By contrast, the practice I’m talking about is more subtle but so much more powerful, it is a conscious choice for love. Everyone wants someone to love and to feel loved. Loving with conviction starts with cultivating these feelings within yourself. You can only give what you already have and by extending yourself and giving away love you will naturally attract supportive and loving people.
I think of this as a spiritual practice but not one associated with a religion or a specific doctrine or dogma. Through the practice you start to understand and experience how joy arises within you, how it feels to be at peace even when faced with adversity, and how your loving actions create more of the same. You are accessing and cultivating a direct connection with a force far greater than you. Some call that power God, Allah, or the Universal Energy. A spiritual practice is how you can start the process of moving away from hate and towards loving with conviction.
Do you think this is possible? I’d love to hear your opinion. Feel free to email me or connect via Facebook.and next week I’ll share my thoughts. I hope you’ll join me.