I believe in the power of love because love changed me for the better and I have seen it change others too.
A most recent example of this:
I was in yoga class a few days ago and trying to figure out how in the world I should respond to my precocious daughter when she hurts my feelings by hurling an insult at me. My most honest usual response is to reprimand her, make her apologize OR like a pro in a ping pong match duck and fling that little ball of insult back at her hard enough to make her eat it- Mature right? (Something my mom would sometimes say back to me when I said something insulting to her as a kid was “Your momma!”) So as I laid on the floor in yoga class I figured “If I do not learn how to better respond, how to handle my own emotions and offense soon, I could permanently damage my relationship with my daughter.” All of a sudden I realized that even when my feelings are hurt (and she knows just how to dig that little pink Barbie knife in my side) that I have to show her that I love her. Maybe that love IS to reprimand or discipline her, but what can my first response be so that I do not respond out of insult? I figured that it is to do what I would have wanted her to do and that is compliment me or say something kind to me.
Fortunately, two days later I had a good opportunity to test it out. When I told her “no” to a request, she responded by saying “You are horrible! Terrible! terribleist terrible ever!” and I said to her “Well, I think that most of the time you are kind and I love how creative you are.” She said “You just said MOST of the time,” I replied, “Well no one is kind all of the time, but you do a good job at being kind” It shut her previous insult down really quick and made me feel good to have had the opportunity to tell her how wonderful I really think she is. She smiled at me sheepishly and I smiled back.
That was love- It healed me and her in an instant. May not always be that instantly rewarding, but you get the point.
Would that work in other more serious situations too? Well MLK believed in love and it worked, and so did Gandhi.
NOW not to pat myself on the back at all; I am not promising that I will never throw back at her “Yeah well you’re a pig face!” out of my creatively mature, motherly little insult bag for kids, but I will daily commit myself to love. Not only her and my other household members, but you as well. No matter what you say or do.
Because I believe in the power of love.