Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

If you wanna Walk Right – choose Love.

21 Comments

Winter’s returned for a quick blast of chill. The lawn, which was quickly beginning to show its roots, is once again blanketed in the white fluffy stuff.

Where ever I go, the conversation inevitably returns to ‘the weather’. Grumbles. Complaints. Groans of dismay. I mean seriously, yesterday was the first day of spring and this is what the weather gave us?

This too shall melt.

This too shall pass.

Time will flow onward. Seasons will shift. The earth will continue to travel its orbit around the sun and the moon and planets will continue to hold their space in the universe.

These are the things I count on. These are the things I know.

It is perhaps why I hold fast to my belief in Love and its power to heal all, shift all, move all.

There are so many things in this world I can’t count on or at least predict with any degree of certainty.

Weather will always happen. But I don’t know what it will be with any guarantee one day to the next — at least, not living here in Alberta at the foot of the Rockies where our favourite saying is, “Don’t like the weather? Wait 5 minutes.”

We can’t count on people living forever. Because we don’t.

We can’t count on buildings standing forever. Because they don’t.

We can’t really count on mountains standing forever either because if you look at the totality of our planet’s formation, plates have shifted, glaciers have advanced and melted, seas have receded and rivers have carved new paths.

What hasn’t changed, what cannot change is the power of Love to create, to evolve, to be present.

And then, I laugh at myself as I write that because if I look way, way back, back to the time of the Neanderthals, do I really know if Love was all around?

And that’s the thing. I have to, no make that, want to believe it was. It is my belief and I want to believe in something I know I can count on. In that awareness, I get to choose what I believe.

And I believe, Love is the answer.

Art Journal Theme 4: Gratitude

Art Journal Theme 4: Gratitude

Yesterday, while working with a group of individuals with lived experience of homelessness, one of the participants spoke of their battle with addictions. Their battle with cancer. Their battle to claim their heritage, their birthright, their voice, their humanity.

They shared how as an Aboriginal, it was their responsibility to come to the sweat lodge, to pray, to heal. “If we are to change the 28% of the homeless population who are First Nations and make it zero, we must all come to the sweat lodge. We must all pray. We must all heal.”

I was thinking of them this morning as I looked out the window and saw all the snow that fell overnight.

They are sleeping rough. It’s easier to stay clean and sober. Easier to avoid the negative distractions that a shelter, along with the care provided, also offers. When so many desperate people come together, desperate things can happen. “I may not be living right,” they said. “But I am walking right.”

Walking right.

In walking right, there are some things they shared the things they’d learned, the things that can always be counted on.

The change of heart that comes through forgiveness.

The gift of peace that comes with gratitude.

The healing of shame that comes through self-love.

“I didn’t like who I was when I was homeless,” one of the participants, also First Nations, said yesterday. “And because I didn’t like who I was, I kept trying to drown who I was.”

Today, clean and sober, studying at the University, they have a purpose, a drive, a desire to give back, to make a difference, to teach what they have learned so others can find their own way to healing. They are walking right.

The world has not treated these individuals kindly. They were not given an EASY button to press to make it all better.

They have struggled and hurt and fallen back. They have gotten up and been beaten down, again and again.

And still, they move forward. They push through. They struggle onward. And they shine.

Because no matter what, I believe the human spirit desires to be free of what hurts us, to be released from what holds us back, to be clear of the past.

I believe that Love motivates only goodness. Love creates only better. And they are living testaments of the power of Love to create change, to heal.

As I listened to the conversation yesterday I felt the peace and joy of knowing that what I count on was visible in that room. It was there within every breath. Every word. Every action. Because in their desire to walk right, Love can always be count on to show them the path to walking right.

Love.

It is the only answer I count on to walk right.

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

21 thoughts on “If you wanna Walk Right – choose Love.

  1. LG

    you know I don’t ALWAYS take the opposite view just to irritate you – sometimes I do because the other side of the coin sometimes deserves equal time, equal ink

    what if love is not so much the answer, but the question ?

    you talk about and write about love … a lot

    sounds good, difficult to refute

    and who would want to? it’s a bit like singing an anthem backward

    but think about this

    rather than trumpeting love, how about asking if there is love in something, if it is within a decision, or the criteria in an RFP, or in that regulation or law people are discussing?

    does it meet that test?

    is there love in it, in its intent, in its consequences.

    I’ve heard that Bhutan doesn’t have a Gross National Product … but measure their lives as Gross National Happiness

    I think they talk a lot about love over there, but they aren’t very prosperous or successful – except in their tourism where GNH seems to be drawing lots of folks to see what all the hype is about

    my point?

    love is not a noun, it is a verb – an action word

    using that word a lot doesn’t make love or loving behaviour happen

    actions of love are love

    words of love are just words

    have a great day

    Mark

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    • For me, love is a very, a noun, an adjective — it is all there is when I strip away all the rest. Love is all that remains. Jonathan Harris has a wonderful TED talk and project he did several years ago with Bhutan — and I disagree – word of love are… words of love. very powerful. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs

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  2. Your work with the homeless is deeply inspiring to me Louise. Correction: all of how you ‘walk right’ inspires me. I too know that many are focused on complaining about the return of snow but I choose to focus on love and gratitude. Makes every day more sunny, doesn’t it? But yes, those who are ‘sleeping rough’… it’s hard for them to see the beauty of it. But our indomitable spirit pushes forward. I love that group of individuals who’ve made it through the hardest times, wanting to ‘drown who I was’ and are being shining role models of how it CAN be done. A wonderful post my friend. Thank you for sharing these important stories of hope. xo Gina

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    • So true Gina — focussing on love and gratitude creates more of what I want in my life — interestingly — the couple who are sleeping rough — they see great beauty and joy and love in the world. They don’t have a lot of stuff, but they sure to know Love! Thanks so much my friend. You inspire me and touch my heart. xo

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  3. Louise,

    As always your writing touches my heart! Something you said is something I’m trying to remember and that is nothing lasts forever. Good times or bad times. But I think that love is the answer to the question if there is a question at all. The online dictionary defines love:

    noun
    1.
    a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
    2.
    a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
    3.
    sexual passion or desire.
    4.
    a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
    5.
    (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?

    For me it is seeing people where they are at and being ok with it. I’m not saying this right, but not being judgemental about their story is for me love. Accepting the person for who he/she is. Separating the behaviour from the person. I do struggle with this as was evident yesterday by my reaction to your essay.

    It is easy to say that I am going to accept someone where they are at or who they are, but another to follow it. This is my issue with religion. On one hand we were taught to love and on the other someones sexual orientation is deemed to be wicked, and thus the person is somehow evil.

    I do think that love is something that does conquer all:

    It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui. — Helen Keller

    A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. — Thomas Carlyle

    Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky. — Rainer Maria Rilke

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    • royce my dear friend — love the quotes. and I love you. I love how you take what you’ve learned and expand it and dig into it and chew it up and digest it and learn from it. What an amazing soul you are. Hugs and love and beans my friend.

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  4. Amen! Have a great weekend!

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  5. Hi Louise,
    You are right to speak often of Love. It is the only thing that can truly change the world. Even when I have been at my most spiritually confused times, sorting out mainstream religion’s role or non-role in my life, and wondering which direction to go next, I always knew that unconditional love was at the core of everything. Keep saying it!

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    • Thank you — I love your blog btw. Very uplifting and inspiring and warm and inviting. And yes, Love is the only thing that can truly change the world. Let’s keep saying it together — and together we shall change the world!

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      • Today, your warm words spread sunshine all over Willow Hill. Togetherโ€ฆLOVE

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  6. Louise…yes…love is the answer to EVERYTHING! I am reminded on a daily basis and when I truly come from place of love miracles occur in my life. Thank you for a wonderful post! Blessitude ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • thank you Lorrie. I so appreciate meeting you in this space and getting to know you and see you and walk with you through your blog and your presence here. I love how aligned our soul’s are! Blessitude to you too!

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  7. Another great post. When I was in the early days of my personal crisis, I began getting up and watching the sunrise every morning. I felt it was the only thing left that I could rely on, that it would rise every single morning.
    That was when I was thinking that everything had happened to me, not realising that I could still choose. I had forgotten about me. I could rely on me. Your post today pushes home that message. We each have a responsibility to act and to choose love, including self-love, and to make our own self-respect.

    Louise, I am continually inspired by the messages you impart and by your mantra of ‘inspiring acts of grace in everyday living’.
    You certainly achieve that.

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    • Elizabeth — I love that you got up to watch the sunrise — what an amazing act of courage, hope and grace. So beautiful.

      I too am continually inspired by your messages — and thank you — after reading your comment I realized that ‘inspiring acts of grace in everyday living’ is my Purpose Statement. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. So true. [BTW — I giggled at the “5 minutes” weather thing — I’m from Michigan and lived in Chicago, Portland OR, Seattle, San Francisco and now KY and every one of them has that saying…. I wonder if there are any places that don’t think that?]

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    • haha Leigh — you mean it’s not just Calgary? ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you — I meditated and chanted on peace today. It was by myself, but it still felt good to do it — and you are the one who reminded me, and inspired me, to do it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. thank you for nudging me towards the sweat lodge,
    for inviting me into some deeper healing,
    for sharing these shining stories
    and being a bright wind on the coals
    of love.
    -Jennifer

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    • Ahhh Jennifer.
      In the sweat lodge
      we find all our ancestors
      sitting in the circle
      sharing their stories
      of possibility, of hope, of grace
      and in the circle we are all inspired
      to connect
      to the possibility of what can happen
      when we remember
      we are all connected.

      Thank you my friend. So lovely to see you, to know you, to walk with you. to sweat with you.

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  10. Pingback: In the distance between our hearts | Dare boldly

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