Norturing Helinn Love
Jesse wrote a message on our kitchen chalkboard shortly before he died, “Norturing Helinn Love” (Nurturing Healing Love).
These three words are not in the vernacular of a six-year-old, and were phonetically spelled because he was in first grade and just learning to write. They are in the definition of compassion across all cultures and comprise a profound formula for choosing love. This formula is now being taught in schools, communities, and now most importantly, in homes around the world.
It is in these Covid times that we are reminded, in no uncertain terms, we truly are in this together. Humanity seems to overcome our perceived differences and come together in times of tragedy and pain. When my six-year-old son was murdered in his first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School, huge warehouses were filled, many times over, with sentiments of love and support from all over the world. A significant amount of these were sent by children. Children have yet to learn how we judge our diversity yet all seem to be able to rise to the occasion of tragedy.
Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies. — Nelson Mandella
The formula can lead us to Choose Love in the face of the Corona pandemic. We start with the COURAGE to be present, face our new reality, and ask what the lessons are for us to learn. Jesse stood up to the shooter as he turned into his classroom after having gunned down the principal and counselor right outside the door. His gun ran out of bullets and during the short delay while he reloaded, Jesse called to his classmates to ‘Run!’ He saved nine of his friends’ lives before losing his own. We all can have that courage. Science tells us courage is like a muscle and we need to practice to strengthen it.
Nurturing means loving-kindness and GRATITUDE. We can shift the lens of our focus amidst our worry, fear and uncertainty by having the courage to find something for which to be grateful. There is always something to be thankful for. If we are present, we can even experience ever-present micro-moments of joy, to be savored, even amidst pain.
The definition of healing is FORGIVENESS. Now is the time to take back your much needed personal power by cutting the cord that attaches you to pain. To whom or what have you been giving control of your thoughts, that impact your feelings and behavior? Find the courage to let it go and give yourself the gift of peace.
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison. — Nelson Mandella
Love is COMPASSION IN ACTION. When we have the courage to step outside of our own lives to help one another, we are CHOOSING LOVE and helping to create a safer, more peaceful and loving world.
Charles Darwin, the renowned naturalist, geologist and biologist concluded that the species most equipped to move up the evolutionary ladder would be the one with the highest number of its members sympathetic to one another. When scholars researched what Darwin meant, they found ‘sympathetic’ to mean altruistic, generous and compassionate. In other words, it is not ‘survival of the fittest’ but survival of the most loving.
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man. — Charles Darwin
As human beings, we are all the same in the want and need to love and be loved. We all feel pain and suffer. We are all susceptible to illness, specifically now with the pandemic of COVID-19. Another commonality is that we will all die. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, even though we live like it is. The reality is that all we have is right here, right now.
Those who leave a valuable mark will be the ones who were altruistic, generous, and compassionate. By choosing love we cultivate peace in the hearts and minds of current and future generations. What will your legacy be?
Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future. — Nelson Mandela
Cultivating Love and Forgiveness can change every aspect of our lives. The repercussions of this, in leading by example, continue to have a deep and lasting beneficial impact on many others and for many years. How have you benefited from forgiveness? Either having been forgiven or by forgiving others? We’d love to hear your stories of healing in the comments below.
May Compassion and Forgiveness lead us all into Unity, Peace and Love.
Scarlett Lewis is the founder and Chief Movement Officer of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement. Be Inspired and turn your heartbreak into Love in Action by clicking on the link above.