Dying For Love

July 3rd, 2014

earthheart“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

 

Of all the sciences, the one that is most compelling to me is Quantum Physics. A year ago I went to this remarkable Science and Non-Duality conference, where leading PhD quantum physicists convened with spiritual teachers, confirming the scientific theories, which support the ancient teachings that we are indeed all one. Accepting and understanding how we are all connected in this vast, ever expanding universe of benign energy is the context which makes the idea of a love centered revolution possible. A movement of Love Agents creating a stream of intentional loving acts will subtly, yet definitively shift the collective consciousness to the truth of our interconnectedness. And the idea that a relatively small group of people can become a catalyst for change and impact the larger whole has been proven time and again. Arguably, in the name of love, there may not be a more opportune moment to intervene than right now.

My husband often tries to hide the newspaper from me because I am known to sometimes fall into despair over just the first page. Yet one story that was tucked into the 15th page of last Sunday’s New York Times continues to stay with me. I continue to grapple with the stories of Muafia and Mehreen, two teenaged Pakistani girls who dared to love someone of their own choosing and were killed in cold blood by the people who were supposed to have loved them most in the world- their parents. Both families lied to their daughters, luring them home with promises of forgiveness and acceptance in order to murder them. I try to imagine the kind of courage and passion that took hold in these girls that empowered them to resist and assert themselves in their culture where a parent’s “honor” is more valuable than a girl’s life, let alone her heart. These are just a couple of names that were reported- thousands more girls are murdered every year for the crime of waking up to their own potential for love, for the courageous self determination that love inspires in us. The cultural values are so deeply entrenched that local authorities will not prosecute the murderers or even protect these young women.

It is hard for any of us in the Western world to imagine the risk of love at such high cost. Yet, we all carry some version of Romeo and Juliet in our hearts- the simultaneous longing and fear for a love that will claim our souls and act as a compass in guiding our lives. Culturally, we long for a true love, but don’t really believe in it. Our fear of love is subliminal.  Having witnessed so many failed attempts at loving relationships, and maybe having been hurt by a few ourselves, many of us, guided by new cultural norms are willing to settle for a one night variety, where we freely offer our bodies but never release our hearts.

Sometimes, when I think about the world, especially when it comes to love and intimacy, I am dumbfounded that all of these experiences are happening simultaneously.  How is it that we here in the West can be seemingly so free to love, while at the same moment, a woman on the other side of the world is being killed for having even a glimpse of the same experience? How are these realities connected? Is our unwillingness to choose love some mirrored reflection of the millions of women who have no choice? Could expanding our capacity for love impact their freedoms to choose love?

Although I may never know the answer to these questions, I do know this: that forming a group of a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand Love Agents who are setting the intention in their own lives to expand love, and are out on the street performing loving acts will make ripples, huge ripples, into this energy field called life and it can only help.

The official Love Agent headquarters launches on Monday July 7th and if you join with three friends this weekend, you will all begin with a 25 point Bonus Badge for Building the Love movement. We need you.

6 Responses to “Dying For Love”

  1. Valerie Says:

    <3

  2. Nicole Says:

    I am not one to bash any “movement” that is trying to do good, but I find this leaning towards neoliberal magical thinking to be a bit disturbing. Don’t get me wrong, we need more love in the world. We need more people doing good, and we need more people doing good without the expectation of some kind of tangible reward. We also need people who are in touch with reality enough to realize that the radical change that needs to happen to stop systemic racism, sexism, environmental destruction, and so on, is going to take more than people participating in feel good activities that will basically amount to feeling fulfilled on a personal level but will do nothing for systemic change. The whole concept of a “Love Agent Movement” immediately makes me think of other feel good, neoliberal, white upper middle class “movements” like Orgasms for Peace and One Billion Rising. Radical systemic change is hard work. It means confronting oppressive systems, it means being willing to be persecuted, it means being willing to give up a lot of things for the greater good. What it is not is a continuation of the status quo. And it surely doesn’t come with the promise of a material feel good reward at the end. I commend you wanting to do good, but make no mistake: if we want the murder and destruction of fellow humans, non-human animals, and the earth in general to stop, it’s going to take more than smiling at someone or doing a good deed to make it happen. I hate to say it, but I can’t take this blog/site seriously anymore. It feels like a giant advertisement.

  3. Mari Says:

    Thank you for writing this. It reminds me of the subtle power of prayer, often overlooked to the point of not tapping into its deep power and potentially endless energy. Definitely thought-provoking. I’ll have to figure out how to uncover some of the rocks weighing down my ability to love. For ten long years, I’d forgotten how. Then my son was born, like a sweet light illuminating a vast darkness. So many things have changed for me since. I’ve been shut up and dormant for so long.

  4. gwen levy Says:

    I’m in to spread the message and be the message of love.
    for humanity, but especially for our sisters.

  5. Wendy Says:

    Hi Nicki,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my recent post.
    As you can see from that post, I too take the gravity of the world’s situation
    to heart and try to write and think about it in ways that can transform us.
    The love agent movement, while it has a reward structure just to get people
    going, is based on my belief that practicing both the giving and receiving small doses of love
    will be enough to awaken a shift in the way people relate. Although this seems small
    and mundane, this is the very foundation of the non violent revolutions to which you refer.
    We have forgotten how to do this often in our own small lives. All of the greatest teachers
    and revolutionaries that have made any kind of lasting change in the culture began with these
    practices of kindness and love in small ways. This is where courage comes from, the belief
    that our mind and heart is workable and can give and receive love.

    This is not a brand building exercise. This is me, trying to stop talking at people
    and actually paying them to experience these ideas for themselves. It is an experiment
    that goes far outside any business planning. If you have been a reader on my blog, you
    will know that I don’t do the shiny, feel good thing- I ask people over and over again
    how to make it real and do the hard work of loving.

    Imagine for a minute if this could work, and 100, 1000, 10,000 people were deliberately more
    loving in their own lives. These acts would make a difference. They might not free all the innocent
    victims, or equalize monetary systems in the ways we would all hope, but they would be the beginning
    of a real change of heart.

    Why don’t you try one and see for yourself if it makes a difference. The missions are not all so
    easy and fluff.

    Thanks again for writing in about the weight of the world’s issues- you are right, but
    inspiring people to love more is not wrong.

  6. Nicole Says:

    Hey there,

    I figured as long as Wendy is making her responses public, I may as well do the same (in the name of transparency and honesty).

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your response. I wanted to think about this a bit before responding. I hope what I say will make sense

    I was a little confused about your comment about the “nonviolent revolutions” you said I mentioned. I don’t remember this. (I definitely don’t consider “Orgasms for Peace” and “One Billion Rising” to be revolutions, if that’s what you mean…like I mentioned before, these are the kind of “movements” that result in immediate gratification for those who participate, and maybe are good for raising “good energy”, but that is all). I try very hard to not knock down any people/organizations that are working for a better world, but it’s important to recognize their flaws so they/we can all do better. Having been involved in the activist community, what really bothers me is when movements for change often (unintentionally) fail to recognize how certain actions/missions/tactics completely ignore the most marginalized in the world.

    I can go ahead and do something loving for someone, and I have no doubt that it will have some kind of positive ripple effect within the small local community (whether that community be a family, circle of friends, etc.) It is just incredibly frustrating when that is touted as having the potential to have a greater impact in the world at large. It’s magical thinking. All the love in the world won’t stop systemic patriarchy, racism, animal abuse, environmental destruction. Only radical action will stop that. And it won’t be easy.

    From what I have seen in my relatively short life and involvement in the activist community (and from what I have learned from other activists who have been involved much longer), movements that are not addressing systems of oppression are, more often than not, benefiting those who don’t need any more benefit. At the very least, these movements perpetuate the blindness that much of this culture shows toward the oppressed. They are not the kind of movements that those oppressed by this culture typically have the privilege of joining or being involved in. This is very troubling. There is no shortage of people (even within some of the more “radical” groups I’ve been involved with) who have a very hard time addressing systems of oppression. There are many people who, however, believe that the power of love, prayer, good vibes, etc., will “change the world”. Maybe our tiny corner of it, but we need to have a realistic perspective.

    Maybe I’m rambling, but I wanted to share a recent experience with you (for perspective I guess). I’m a direct care staff at a crisis home. It’s basically a stepdown from being in a psychiatric hospital. I care very much about helping people and I’ve been looking for ways to address poverty, racism, sexism, and food insecurity in my community. It’s a pretty conservative town and finding people who are willing to do the actual work this involves is very hard. I figured I’d start with the place I work at and applied for a grant (through my employer) to start a small garden. Most of the people we serve are low/no income, homeless, or almost homeless. My hope for this tiny food justice project is that it will, in some small way, help people learn how to grow their own food, save seeds, etc. And of course, be therapeutic.

    If this project has made one lesson incredibly clear to me (something I’ve already learned in the past when trying to organize something) it’s very hard to get people to do the hard work. My husband has been my only consistent helper…I couldn’t have done it without him. After finally tracking down someone to donate soil, I spent four hours last Tuesday moving 1.5 cubic yards by myself. By the time I was done, I could barely move and had worked myself so hard I felt like throwing up. At one point while doing this work, someone’s case manager showed up and told me “I want your job”. I told her I worked there and was volunteering. She insisted she still wanted my job, and we briefly talked about how nice the weather was. After this interaction, I thought about it and wondered, does she really want to be doing this? I have no doubt being a case manager is hard work and comes with it’s own set of trials (being a direct care staff in crisis has given me some idea of this). But this individual also gets to work in an indoor, relatively “sheltered” environment. She didn’t deal with the frustration of having numerous people say they would do something and then not keep their word. She didn’t give hours of time outside of her job to do this, and she didn’t work outside alone for hours on a hot summer day by herself doing back breaking work. Don’t get me wrong, I chose to do this and am still incredibly excited that we finally have plants in the ground. It’s very rewarding to finally have this project done. What she was doing was romanticizing what I did, but she didn’t see it as that. That is a problem. Change is often hard work, and it can literally be very painful. People need to realize this.

    Sorry I’ve written you a book. I’m not always the best using few words to communicate what I’m trying to say. I’ve been reading your blog for at least a few years. I know you care, and I realize you’re trying to use your own talents/capabilities to make something good happen. We’re coming at this from different angles, but that’s okay. Hopefully the two of us (and all who want a better world) can look at what we’re doing and learn to make it better.

    I was going to copy and paste this, but figured it was better to share the link: http://www.deepgreenresistance.org/en/why-resist/problem-of-civilization
    Having been a DGR member, I know this movement has their own problems as well. In spite of that, they have a good message.

    It’s hard not to feel paralyzed by the problems in the world and to feel completely helpless in what to do about them. I’m willing to do anything that is working for a better world, but I try to be very honest with myself about what the impact is going to be and to be as strategic as possible. All I hope is for others to do the same.

    Take care,
    Nicole

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