On How To Love

All my life, I have always had friends from different backgrounds, different countries, different skin colors, different religions, different sexual orientations, different sex, different political opinions, different wealth level… In this I was lucky to live in so many different countries and experience this diversity. I have also always sought diversity when I could not find it.

Deep in my heart I have never felt less or more to any person based on their skin color. I find humanity amazing with the diversity of skin colors, accents, culture differences all so interesting and beautiful…! I have been attracted to those differences, I wanted to live in all those countries, I wanted to experience different cultures… I have moved so much in my life, that I have completely detached myself from any national identity. I actually think nationalism is the beginning of racism as you put your fellow countrymen before other humans…

However, I have lived and taken advantage of being white and the white supremacy: not having to fight for everything…. I only can imagine what black people and other skin color must feel every day, from my discussions with friends, the movies I watched, the books I read… I have had the experience of discrimination as a woman in a corporate, male dominated world many times. Or walking in the street late at night, feeling fear for my life because I am a woman. I have been harassed many times walking in the street of Paris during the day when I was a teenager … I do carry the pain of the discrimination of women especially in some parts of the world where women basic rights are still being violated… so I can relate to that fear, to the anger, to the injustice — but really only a little bit and not to the extent that I feared for my life if a cop pulls me over… or to the level of discrimination that black people have felt walking in a store being watched or being feared walking in the street, or not getting jobs, or being called names. I lived the white privilege to never been pulled over for no apparent reason, or not being followed in the shopping center, or not getting through the application process because of my name…

I have been reflecting on the current situation for a while, feeling the pain, listening, learning… asking myself what I could do to help… I have observed the reactions on social media… and asking myself “What are we missing as human beings”?

It seems a bit tacky to say so, but it seems to me that what is missing is LOVE.

Are we, human beings, not able to love each other?… We might be able to love our kids, partners, family… and even this sometimes is far from obvious… At a collective level, what is happening today shows that we don’t know how to love each other. And this brought me back to that great book I read years ago… In his book “How to Love” Thich Nhat Hanh is offering practices to nourish true love, that are so relevant today. I felt the urge to share those here.

Here are the 6 fundamental mantras or sentences to feel, integrate, live and say to each other:

  1. I am here for you — being present in mind and body with the other is the first practice on how to love.

Thich Nhat Hanh also talks about the 5 “Awarenesses”:

  1. We are aware that all generations of our ancestors and future generations are within us.

So, let’s stop. Let’s stop responding to Black people and the #BlackLivesMatter that “all lives matter” when what is needed from all of us simply to LOVE. When another human comes with a pain they carry, the first thing and only thing to do is to acknowledge their pain and listen. Without that first step in any conflict, healing is very hard… Obviously, something was missed, something was left unexpressed, and Black People haven’t truly been heard… And the thing that was missing was white people truly hearing their pain, hearing their rage, listening… to knee…

So, let’s bring love here. What it means is:

  1. To be present — to stop being on the defensive, and simply show pure presence of being to the Black community. Simply be here to listen.

So today I am deeply truly, sorely, sorry, I would like to apologies for all the crimes and discrimination that were done by white people like me to Black people, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, Africans, Asians, Indians… truly sorry for not apologizing earlier… for not having deeper conversations with my friends… my heart is aching… I understand your anger. I would be angry too if I were you. And yes, we can only be grateful you are looking for equality and not revenge.

I can feel humanity is rising and that those important issues are now being talked about… so for that I am grateful…. Let’s keep our heart open in those big moments of humanity’s collective healing.

We need to remind ourselves that, as Thich Nhat Hanh says, only understanding, trust and love can help us change and grow.

With infinite love and gratitude

Dorothee Marossero, Transformational coach, creator of Fearlessly Yourself, a 12-week transformational program for women

www.fearlesslyyouself.com

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Dorothee Marossero

Transformational coach, International Yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner. I believe to heal we need to reconnect to our bodies, our emotions, our natural self.