It gets harder all the time to consistently choose love, yeah? So much of what passes for discourse today is fueled by fear and rage, and that's some pretty difficult terrain for a love warrior to navigate.
I'm writing this post for two reasons. First, to urge you to keep trying. I think (despite evidence to the contrary) there is value in trying - to have conversations, to reach beyond politics, to make the case for empathy and compassion. It's tough though, I know. I often feel frustrated and disheartened by my fellow humans these days, like no matter what I do, there's no way to bridge the deep chasms that divides us.
When I feel like that, when frankly the gulf is so wide that I can't quite manage love, I attempt respect, and when, occasionally, I can't even manage that, I retreat, hole up in my studio, and make some art.
Most often, I find myself creating art that represents more of what I want to see in the world. More beauty. More soul. More generosity, kindness, celebration, and love.
Which leads me to the second, super important thing I want to say to you.
You don't have to be an artist (though I'm beginning to suspect we all are). You don't have to protest or march or write your congress person (though that's awesome if you can). You don't have to spend all your energy trying to convince people they should care about those who don't look, think, act, or believe as they do (though that is holy work if you're up to it).
What you can do - what we can all do - is consciously, mindfully, imbue our daily interactions with more of what we want to see in the world.
Recently I got into a conversation on Facebook with someone I adore, and she wrote the greatest thing to me. She said the most constructive thing she could do right now is put positive energy out into the world. "Compliment strangers. Empathize with cashiers and people who have to work in the sun. Make goofy smiley faces at babies. Give as big a tip as you can. Look people in the eye and thank them."
I love that. I love that it's not hard or scary. It's not time-consuming or expensive, and you don't need any special training. I love that you can do it every single day, and it won't make you sad, or mad, or wear you out.
In fact, it may just heal you.