“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”
Maya Angelou

The events of this past weekend were, simply put, a tragedy. I am not going to argue over whether it was a religious thing, a terrorist thing, or a homophobic thing. To me, it was an act of hatred, plain and simple.

Hate.

I don’t know if I have ever felt true hate. I have felt true love and there is an old cliche that says “there is a thin line between love and hate”. I prefer to keep my toes on the love side of the line. I feel as though, however, I am part of a minority in making this choice.

I do not claim to be particularly religious. I do not claim to be a Christian, although I was baptized into the Southern Baptist Church and taught Sunday school to kindergartners for 7 years. I walked away from that church, from that belief system when I could no longer justify the hate, bigotry, and discrimination against fellow human beings coming from people who claimed to love Jesus Christ, a man who supped with tax collectors & thieves, prostitutes & heathens alike. I walked away from religion, organized Western religion, and began my own long path of spirituality. And what I found was amazing: I prefer to walk in love and light than allow the shadow of hate to cover my thoughts, actions, and feelings. My heart finally felt free. But then, I realized I was doing something I had not thought I would ever be able to do: love my fellow man unconditionally.

It isn’t easy. And yes, I dislike a great many people. But that does not stop my heart from feeling pain for their sorrows and misfortunes. That does not stop the tears from falling from my eyes when I see people hurt, harmed, or wronged. Because I believe that all of humanity deserves love, regardless of what kind of people they are and all of humanity deserves compassion for the private pain they may not reveal and all of humanity needs kindness to help heal the hurts inflicted by others.

I love my fellow man. I LOVE my fellow man so much that I could never bring myself to harm one, despite whatever difference of opinion or beliefs we may have. And so, these horrible events, these mass shootings, bombings, acts of terror…they are acts of hate. And despite the fact they are acts of hate, despite the fact that they have caused pain and suffering, my heart will still grieve for those who have committed these atrocities just as they grieve for those who are the victims. Because they were committed by men, fellow members of the human race, however, I will still hold love for them and ask the Universe to help their souls find peace. I will love these terrible people who hold hate in their hearts and souls for those who oppose their views and beliefs. I will love them and hope that, one day, others will walk the same rocky path that I am committed to following. For it is only when we come together and love each other unconditionally, without prejudices, without motives, without expectations, that we will be able to move past these terrible, hateful acts that have torn another whole into the fabric of our lives. May our willingness be the needle and our unconditional love the string to mend our ripped and torn souls so we can heal.

“Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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