Choosing Love Over Fear: A Collective Easter Message

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the world, we are faced with an unprecedented reality. A reality that has uprooted a life we once relied upon. A reality that has plunged humanity into a world of uncertainty as businesses close and our social world has come to a grinding halt. In the age of social media, when human connection more available than it has ever been throughout history, we are, paradoxically, now alone more than ever. Some are quarantined from their loved ones whereas the rest of the world lives in social distancing. As living beings, whose need for social interaction and social connection is woven into the fabric of our DNA, we confront a painful truth—a truth in which the survival of millions rest upon our need to stay apart and relinquish the very essence of what makes us human.

How can we survive and endure if we are unable to connect with others? As embodied beings, physical connection, human touch, and the warmth of another in a room with you provide an unspeakable validation that we are part of a bigger whole and that we are not alone. As supermarket shelves have become barren and panicked people stockpile food and toilet paper, I am reminded of a psychological experiment conduced in 1968 by Dr. Harry Harlow.

In the effort to understand the importance of maternal contact on the development of infants, Dr. Harlow utilized animal research with infant Rhesus monkeys. These infant monkeys were separated into two groups: the first group were provided a wire-shaped surrogate mother who had a feeding bottle and the second group were provided with a wire-shaped surrogate mother covered in soft foam and terry cloth but did not have a feeding bottle. What was discovered in this experiment was that these infant monkeys spent significantly more time with their cloth surrogate mother and only went to the wire surrogate mother when it had food. After feeding, these infant monkeys would then immediately return to the cloth surrogate mother. Food and nutrition were not sufficient for these infant monkeys; rather, what was most important was warmth and connection to a maternal surrogate.

All the stockpiling in the world cannot overcome the need for social connection and comfort from another. We can fill our cupboards to the brim, but our hearts and souls will remain empty. In the troubled times we all find ourselves—times of deep uncertainty and fear—how shall we nourish our hearts and souls when all we seemingly have are wire-framed relics of a world that no longer exists?

Matthew 27:46

“At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

These words of Jesus, as he hung from a cross, take on new meaning in the world we face today. Where is God’s place in all of this? How has God allowed this to happen? Why is God not stopping this? It is in the most frightening of times that we as humanity turn to a higher power for comfort and protection; yet, people continue to get infected and hundreds die with each passing day. Has God abandoned us in our time of need? Is this God’s punishment for the sins of humanity?

Our answer to you is no. We believe, with unwavering certainty, that God is the embodiment of love—a love that exists beyond the scope of our full understanding, but resonates within the essence of our souls. So many false prophets of our modern age have warped our understanding of love and have tried to separate us from the stream of consciousness to God that exists inside of us. Some have become self-appointed speakers for God, and sowed seeds of hatred among humanity, pitting the social elite against the socially disenfranchised. Others, like a hurt parent who relives their traumas through their children, dangle the love of God in the face of humanity touting that God will come to those who are good—as though God could possibly be separate from humanity, its very creation.

What these false prophets have yet to see is the truth that was, is, and always will be before their eyes. Love is not capable of hate and God has never left us. The seeds of hate they have sown in the name of God—the name of love—are, in fact, seeds from the blossoms of their own self-hatred and self-criticism. The varied ways in which they espouse the separation of God from humanity—a God that will one day come down from the heavens and save the good, the pious, and the blessed—is the hurt from their own feelings of abandonment throughout their life. They preach in fear because they themselves were once scared children.

As a living, conscious being, capable of thought, feeling, and choice, I ask you to look at the state of our world today—not through the lens of hate and fear, but through the lens of love. In what can feel like the darkest of times, love has not abandoned us. Countless individuals have utilized their gifts and talents—the very essence of God inside themselves—to heal and comfort humanity. Scientists are working on vaccines, doctors and nurses are tending to the sick, people are singing from their balconies, friends and family are using the Internet to connect. Love is overflowing and, therefore, God is everywhere.

It is in these bleak moments that we see ever so clearly that love has and will always conquer fear and hatred. God will not come down from heaven and save us from this pandemic because God has always been and will continue to be here in each of our acts of love. Yes, people will continue to become infected and many will continue to die in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Yet, with the knowledge that God lives within us all, we are given the greatest gift of humanity—the gift of choice. We can choose to love and to act in the name of God. As a humanity bound by the law of love for self and neighbor, we must choose to protect ourselves and the people we surround ourselves with each day. Wash your hands regularly and stay at home as much as possible. Use the gifts of our creation, the gifts that God bestowed in us, to bring love to all we know. Look inside and begin to discover the gifts that God has given to you. For each one of us, those gifts are different, but together, like pieces of a mosaic, we arrive ever closer to the incomprehensible nature of love.

As you discover the truth and gifts that lie inside of yourself, you will be awakened to your true self—an enlightenment that reveals that you are the living, breathing essence of love. Do not keep this light to yourself; rather, share it with others and allow the world to see that love has not abandoned us, but works through all of us. When we as humanity come to understand and know that God exists inside of ourselves and works through the gifts and talents we all possess—our True Self—hatred and abandonment are revealed as illusions and symptoms of a hurt and frightened humanity.

What shall come in the days, weeks, and months ahead? In the death of Jesus on the cross, his disciples wondered the same. Yet, what they soon discovered was that love has no end but exists in each of us through our words and actions. The resurrection of Jesus was not literal; rather, love was resurrected in the hearts and souls of his disciples and lived out through their True Self. Our future in these uncertain times is what we as a collective humanity make of it. Fear and hatred will always exist, for we are imperfect beings. Yet, our gift to consciously and purposely choose love in the face of fear and hatred will determine our future both now and always.

So, say we all. Amen.

By: The Collective Awakening 

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