04 March 2011

Season of Nonviolence – Day 34: LOVE

Welcome to Day 34 of the Season of Nonviolence – 64 Days of peaceful wisdom honoring the lives and nonviolent principles of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez.

Nonviolence begins with learning how to be less violent and more compassionate towards ourselves. We learn by building the courage to speak and act with respect, honor and reverence for our own being.

Day 34: LOVE

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." - Mother Teresa

We are constantly judging those around us. While we may be conscious of not being judgmental with our friends and family, we often continue to judge 'others' based on their ethnicity, physical appearance, or beliefs. How often do we unconsciously condemn the driver who cuts us off in traffic with expletives rather simply responding to the situation? These judgments arise from the fear of harm, just as a more subtle version of that fear motivates our judgments against people we perceive as different from us. Loving our neighbors as we love ourselves is a practice that allows the light of love to overcome these fears.

Gandhi wrote, "Nonviolence is based on the assumption that human nature…. unfailingly responds to the advances of love." 

Today, focus on what you appreciate most about the person you like the least.

Be mindful of where your unconscious fears lie. Notice what triggers your anger and judgment responses. Contemplate or journal about the fears behind these reactions. Resolve to practice love and acceptance when these situations arise.

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