Putting My Oxygen Mask on First – Living Your Values

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King

I’m struggling to live my values and beliefs. I say I believe only love and light can drive out hate…but I am having a hard time getting past the hate and anger I feel towards Republican leaders for not holding Trump accountable, for not supporting tighter regulations to prevent gun violence while accepting significant donations from the NRA, for targeting Medicare, Medicaid, insurance coverage while passing tax breaks for the rich, for their handling of the Kavanaugh hearings. This is also challenging my belief that everyone is a good person at heart and wants to do the right thing.

I feel the need to take action – but I don’t want to take action grounded in feelings of anger and hatred. So I’m meditating and chanting  A LOT…and then I worry that meditating and praying for compassion, peace and love isn’t enough. Sending our prayers for the victims hasn’t stopped future tragedies. But taking action grounded in feelings of anger and hatred just strengthens the divide.

And so I will continue to try to observe my anger and hatred without judgement because trying to resist or deny those feelings have only caused them to be more entrenched. But I will do that by fully FEELING the emotions as they come up instead of rehashing and THINKING about the actions that inspired the feelings.

And I won’t wait for those feelings to go  away before taking action – I will vote and support youth led organizations like Never Again MSD and take actions to support the election of candidates whose platforms are in alignment with my values and stay involved in local nonprofits. And I will try to listen and understand the perspective of people with different beliefs and values than me as I discussed in last week’s Putting My Oxygen Mask on First. But I will continuously evaluate my motivations to make sure I’m taking action that adds light and love to the world instead of furthering the divide.

And if you observe me taking an action that may be driven from hatred and anger, please lovingly bring that to my attention.

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible- and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” Ephesians 5:13

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