The Secret To Fighting Terrorism Isn’t What You Actually Think

This has always been a quote that has resonated deeply with me. In the wake of yet another terrorist attack we are left wondering, “Why people would do such things?” In order to pull a trigger we have to be suffering. We have to be hurting so deeply that we want to make our external world match the war that is going on within. And when we begin to understand and empathize with those that commit these acts, we see that there isn’t a human on this planet who wouldn’t do what they do with the pain and indoctrination of hate they’ve faced since being “welcomed” into this world.

And yet, even though I understand this intellectually, I am still perplexed by us humans. The majority of my work goes into helping people understand, including myself, how we can love more. And to be honest, the more I dig and dive and read and bury myself in this art, the more I see that it’s always about removing our own interior barriers to love. It’s always us who get in the way. We are scared, and this fear shows up as anger that manifests into external hate and violence.

Sure, on the surface we can blame it on others, our(their) culture, our(their) religion, our(their) childhood, the world around us. We all start with different circumstances, but at the end of the day we all have access to the same love, because it comes from within. Of course that sounds really existential and “woo woo”, but stay with me…

We’re all so afraid of fitting in, of being seen, and loved for who we are, that we fail to see all of the love around us. Every single human on this planet is part of our family. The GLOBAL tribe, aka, humanity.  We all can tap into an infinite amount of love and belonging, the moment we dissolve the perceived barriers and end the wars within ourselves.

The challenge with the point of view that love is all around us is that it’s near impossible to believe given what’s happening in most of our world, and even more importantly, the constant battle we’re having within ourselves. My friend asked me this AM, “Why is everyone so angry?” To which I replied, “Because deep within most of us feel abandoned. Most of us don’t feel loved and accepted for who we are because we don’t love and accept ourselves. Most of us are angry because our lives are not an expression of our true identities.”

Terrorism comes in many forms – and the biggest one is the belief we tell ourselves over and over, that “we aren’t enough as who we truly are.”  Because we believe what we’ve been told about ourselves since the beginning of time.

It can seem odd at first to see the world this way. To see that we are taught to be a certain religion, to love a certain way, to get married by _____ age, to get married to this type of person, to choose this career, and to be this kind of person. Do all those things and you will be “perfect” and lovable. You will not challenge the status quo and you will be an ideal soldier of unconscious thought. My first awakening to this truth was confronting because I realized that most of us operate our lives from this completely  unconscious space, and in turn, we believe we choose all of the things we choose through the rationalization telling of ourselves this is what we wanted – but if we are being honest that is so far from the truth.

Have you ever asked yourself why you want the things you want? Why you feel shame and guilt when your life is/or may be different than what you’ve been taught to believe? Or what propels you to do the certain things you do and say?

It’s because your fear of not belonging, your need to fit in, is so ingrained in you psychologically that the emotional cost of separateness devastates your total being. As children the need for survival demanded we mold into someone that would ensure we were provided with mental, emotional, physical security no matter what the cost to our soul would be. The GIANT problem we see today is that our mental & emotional evolution hasn’t caught up with our souls need for expression. We are so dependant on the external for safety and security that internally we are afraid children who would rather fit in than be abandoned by the only world we know. But here’s the greatest irony:

In the process of doing whatever we can to fit in and be loved, we abandon ourselves. The moment we choose to become someone else to be loved, we send the message to ourselves that we are not lovable and we don’t deserve what we truly want.

Some of us will wake up to the gap between who we’re being and who we truly are. The world, universe, intuition, God, whatever our word is, will send us messages that have us wondering if there’s more to it. “Why does the life I’m living not ‘feel’ right?” There’s just something off, and we can’t put our finger on it. That’s the sign, that’s the beginning of the message asking us to wake up. We can choose to do it then or we can venture further from our soul. The further we go, the greater the pain it will require for us to rejoin with the truth held within our hearts. Because that’s it, the source of most of our pain that we numb with drugs, alcohol, sex, love and relationships is to quiet our aching fractured heart and soul. The part of us that so desperately seeks to be loved and accepted by all of those around us, actually seeks to be loved and accepted by ourselves.

It’s challenging to see how this can relate to what’s going on around our world and how we can bring about more peace and love? My heart goes out to all of the affected by such tragedies, and just like you, my natural response is to want to fight back. To pursue the terrorists and kill them all and avenge the death of all of the innocent people who have lost their lives to a war that no one rational understands, nor supports. But that’s where we get stuck, because when we fight war with war, we get more war. And, of course, it seems idealistic to think, “Just love them. Just send more love into this world and we’ll change it.”

My response to that is:

Send more love within.

To take a deep and honest look at our lives and see what parts of them are a true expression of ourselves.What’s out of alignment with our integrity? To look at our beliefs and see which ones are really true for us? Which ones bring the heaviness of  shame and guilt into our lives & the world around us? (because that’s a good sign they don’t resonate)

We change the world by changing ourselves. This isn’t existential thinking, this is reality. By becoming who we truly are we give other people permission to do the same. We take people who are angry, for seemingly no reason, and allow them to unfold and be themselves. It’s forgiveness, grace, and compassion that dissolve the barriers us and them, between you and I. When we love and accept ourselves, we finally get the love we all so deeply crave because we become it – Unconditional love. This is the light that lifts the whole world. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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