As I left my house yesterday morning, I glanced into the sky and gasped. It was so beautiful. Pink and red and golden hues streaked across the blue. The trees were covered in hoar-frost, their branches laden in white.
I stopped and took a photo and gave thanks for the beauty of the morning.
I drove downtown to a coffee shop for a meet-up with a young man whose gift of song and heart is changing the world. I first met Jesse-James Cameron when he volunteered as one of the musicians in the recording of Stand by Me that I helped produce at the homeless shelter where I used to work. His enthusiasm, willingness to be present, voice and heart made a difference. We’ve stayed in contact since then, me inspired by his commitment to living his best life yet and to sharing his gifts, he inspired by my commitment to live my best life yet and to share my gifts — it’s the best of reciprocity! I’ve gone to several of his concerts when he’s performed here in Calgary and always, Jesse-James has lifted me up, moved my spirit and set my heart soaring.
As we chatted yesterday Jesse shared some of his growth along life’s journey. Once a forgotten kid, his mother addicted, father in jail, Jesse roamed the streets of his Montreal, looking, as he calls it, for a fight. Anything. Anyone.
He didn’t like what he was doing, didn’t like his life but he didn’t know another way to get what he wanted in life.
Today, Jesse can’t imagine doing some of the things he did in the not so distant past. At 28, he is on fire. He is filled with a desire to spread his music, share his gifts, share his love of life and people, compassion, and joy.
I’ve simplified my life down to one simple equation, he told me. I always choose, Love over Fear.
So simple. So powerful.
Choose — Love over fear.
And he’s doing it. His song, One Love, is a reminder to all of us to focus on that which makes life possible, on that which makes our hearts open, our spirits soar, our lives complete. One Love.
While filming the documentary of the making of Stand by Me, we interviewed the musicians and technicians who volunteered to make Stand by Me possible. In his interview, Jesse shared two memorable moments that changed his life. One, the gift of a guitar from his grandmother when he was 13 and two, a chance encounter with a homeless man in Montreal. Jesse stopped one day to chat, sat down next to him and the man spent a couple of hours telling him wild stories of his life. When Jesse went to give him the $10 dollars in his pocket, the man refused it — telling him that he was grateful for the fact Jesse had taken the time to listen. “A story is non-rhetorical,” says Jesse. “It’s not looking for an answer. It’s just looking to be spread.”
A story is non-rhetorical.
Life is made up of the stories we tell. Life is not looking for an answer. It’s looking to be spread. Let’s make sure we spread the story of our life we want to tell. Let’s make sure we share the story of how we loved, life.
As you journey through your day today, spread the story you want repeated. Tell the story you want others to spread.
And in the telling, in the sharing, feel the world around you transforming. Feel the ripple as you move through your day creating waves of that which is worth sharing — Love. Hope. Peace and Joy.
Share the story of how you choose Love over fear — and let Love be the light you shine where ever you go.
And to guide you in your journey, take a few moments to step into the invitation Jesse shares as he sings with his band Makeshift Innocence — One Love.
Maybe when this story is over it will be one that could be one to share, at the moment, here in the middle of it, there is a lot more fear than love.
Thank you for sharing your passion for making a difference and for letting love be the light, even here in the dark it makes a difference.
Take care xx
Dearest Laura, as I read your comment I wanted to reach across the ocean and say, it’s okay. fear is here too, choosing love doesn’t mean fear isn’t here, it just means, I choose love in this moment.
Thank you Laura — I find your commitment to keep taking another step inspiring.
What an amazing post and song – really got to me! I have never really understood how love is supposed to cancel out fear but when I listened to Jesse I think I ‘got it’!
I’m so glad it got to you Julie! And yes, Jesse is amazing. 🙂
Louise! THANK you for introducing me
to this wonderful heartsong of a guy!
been googling him and finding all these gems!
thank you thank you….choosing love over fear.
So much simplicity there.
One love to you too
He’s a sweet tenor. Thank you.
that he is Maureen, that he is. 🙂
What a beautiful young man! Love this song!
Great post, great song enjoyed it thanks………
Thanks Joanne! I’m so glad you listened and liked! 🙂
Love over fear. Yes that is the way to go.
Thanks for another inspiring and uplifting post.
Isn’t that brilliant in its simplicity — and truth. Love over fear. So glad you connect to it too Elizabeth!
what a beautiful message for today! thank you.
Thank you Liz!