When I mediate, I am sometimes struck by the fact that our lives can be profoundly affected by the actions of others.
It can be frustrating to think about our lives being out of our control. I am happier when I focus on what we can control — particularly our own thoughts, our attitudes, and our actions. Of course, change is difficult, but certainly possible. I have used my thoughts and actions at critical points to change the course of my life for the better, and I am sure you have, too. But it’s not easy.
How do we use our own actions to bring more love into our lives?
With her permission, I bring this (slightly edited) message from my friend, Jacqui Lewis, the pastor of Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan. She, and that Church, are at the forefront of a movement they call Revolutionary Love.
Here is what Jacqui wrote recently, that addresses this question:
Who is the neighbor you have the MOST difficulty loving? Write the person’s name on a piece of paper, or write a phrase to describe the type of people.
Now, begin to visualize how much they are like you. What do you have in common? This will help grow your empathy muscle.
This kind of love transforms: Love is revolutionary in its nature, love that sees more good about the other than they can see themselves. Love that dares to stare down hatred and violence and not return evil for evil.
On the way to this new year, focus on love of the so-called ‘other.’ See what it transforms in each of us.
Let us each find ways, small or large, to bring more love and hope into our lives and to the world this new year.
Joy S. Rosenthal, Esq.
Rosenthal Law & Mediation
225 Broadway, Suite 2605
New York, New York 10007