I have been trying, this past week, to be thoughtful, not reactionary.
I have been trying to sort what I know to be true from what I've heard to be true.
I have been trying to move closer to love.
I have remembered that the opposite of love is not hate, not indifference, but fear. I don't want to fear. I don't want to hate. Most of all, I don't want to feel indifferent. I want to love.
Whenever I fear, I dissect that mother like a beast. What am I afraid of? Why am I afraid of that? It usually turns out to be something so silly and so trite that it makes me feel like a little girl clutching my blankie, convinced there are monsters under the bed. That's what most of our fears turn out to be anyway--monsters under the bed.
Both of my cars were broken into recently. In my driveway on a rainy night. I live in a safe neighborhood, but there have been a rash of petty burglaries lately, and by lately I mean for as long as I've lived here. I try to keep the cars locked, but possessions aren't terribly important to me and I usually forget.
After initially feeling violated, I steered clear of hate and fear and found so much compassion for the thieves who had emptied out the glove boxes in my filthy cars, sorted through tampons and lip gloss and old receipts looking for cash that wasn't there. They did steal a bluetooth speaker and Husband's backpack, but only after taking everything out of it first, and most strangely, Daughter's newly purchased pink puffy paint. The puffy paint did it for me. How can I feel anything but compassion for a thief who finds himself in need of pink puffy paint?
In my mind's eye, I see him waking up the next morning and presenting the puffy paint to his daughter. "Do you want to do crafts today?" How can I hate that man? How can I fear him? I have no choice. Love is all that's left.