An excerpt from the book God for President: A Parable about the Power of Love
I bring to you now two tips on listening to love, from the heart:
• Tip 1: The Heart Seeks to Understand — The ability to look from the heart and see things as they are is the true foundation of Love. Ideas of right, wrong, good and bad are based in fear and shut a door to Love-based living.
In the world of fear and ego, punishment is the answer to all negative or unpleasant behavior. The ego’s voice of Fear shouts, “They deserve to be punished or, if we punish them they will change.” Instead of seeking to understand, the ego needs to shame. But the heart knows that an eye for an eye never heals anyone and only creates a continuous pattern of negativity. Love creates an opening for real change.
Fear is after revenge so you can feel justified. Love is after understanding so you can heal hearts. When you seek to understand, your heart opens and Fear no longer has control. You feel loving and others feel loved, and from there, anything is possible.
Make it a practice to be curious about another’s worldview. If you have differing perspectives, seek to understand rather than be understood. Listen instead of needing to prove someone wrong. When people feel wronged or hurt in some way, they often lash out. And, lashing back at them does not change the pain; it only perpetuates a cycle of more pain and conflict.
Here is a powerful question that will help you live from your heart: “What would Love say?” Some possible answers:
- I seek to understand myself and others.
- I wonder what they think? What do they feel?
- If I show others and myself love, we all heal and change.
Heart Practice: Next time you have a conflict with someone, drop down to your heart. Seek to understand the other person’s reality and ask questions until you garner a better idea of where they are coming from. If they will not talk about it, take some time in meditation and send the person love. Even if you do not know specifically what is underneath a negative action, you can be sure fear is the culprit and, understanding always soothes Fear.
• Tip 2: The Heart Allows for All Possibilities — In many of our personal and political communications, we tend to debate one another versus engaging in effective conversations. Debate perpetuates conflict and polarization while conversations birth possibility. Conflict increases when we focus on right and wrong ideas and become inflamed when others don’t seek to understand or accept our views. This makes for poor relationships and less effective policy making.
While fear shouts, “My way is the only way,” Love whispers, “There are many ways; what’s possible?” To choose love, you need to move beyond right or wrong ideas and look at all possibilities through meaningful conversations. Instead of focusing on your way, try seeing what is true for another. What does the issue or situation look like in their world? What is the gift in their viewpoint? What’s possible? What solution or strategy might be feasible in the middle that you both cannot yet see? Maybe a third possibility could emerge if you got out of the way and truly listened and honored another.
Remember, fear needs you to prove you are right so you will feel okay, but Love declares you are okay no matter what. You need prove nothing to Love.
What would Love say?
- My way is not the only way. It’s just a way.
- I don’t need to be right to be okay. I am okay..
- How do you see it?
- What’s possible here?
Heart Practice: Seek out someone you know whom you disagree with politically on one or more issues. See if he/she would be willing to have a conversation to look for possibilities beyond each of your viewpoints. Start by listening quietly to the other person with the intent to understand and consider their views. Do not interrupt. Then switch. After the listening process, explore possibilities beyond each of your perspectives. See what might be in the middle.