December 21, 2017
In my line of work, I get to work with a lot of ordinary people who are trying to do extraordinary things, like learning to love themselves or learning how to find their voice, their truth, their happiness, or their purpose in life.
I also get the pleasure of getting to know and making an impact on people like Johnny, a man covered with 33 swastika tattoos who’s on a journey of learning how to love.
Johnny found me three days after the incidents in Charlottesville, VA — he literally walked up to me on the street without knowing that “healing the hearts and minds of people everywhere” is what I do for work and pleasure — and we have been working together ever since, developing a bond, working through his challenges and moving toward his vision of the life he wants to lead.
Shortly after we met, we created a video series called Understanding Hate – with Tolerance, Love & Forgiveness and at the time we published it, we were not ready to show the world his face as he had not yet fully stepped into his new belief structure and we were unsure how the world would receive him.
But, the day has finally come . . . and Johnny is ready to step into his new belief structure, step into his light. He’s ready to keep growing by accepting responsibility for his past and moving fully forward toward his future.
Here’s the revised Part One of our video on Understanding Hate. In this video, Johnny talks about the reasons why he turned to “hate” or Nazism as his political ideology; why he identified with others who held similar beliefs and what happened in his life that allowed him to use hate as a means to feel better about himself.
I feel like a proud mama. My student and trusted friend is graduating into his next phase of life. I’m so thankful for his trust in me and his trust in my guidance.
In the last four months, I’ve seen him blossom into a man who is willing to do the hard work, ask the hard questions and explore all the areas of his life and personality that no longer serve him.
I’ve watched him tackle his inner monologue, rethink his reactive approach and begin to discover what lights him up and what types of behaviors he wants to model versus let go of.
And I’ve watched him blossom in every way as a result of his desire to learn how to love and to seek out the people who can help him.
It’s our hope that this story of overcoming hate and learning how to love inspires others to connect deeper with themselves; the places from which hate is born and thrives in us all; and the ways in which we can be of service to each other — even if we have differing beliefs — thereby becoming a part of the change we want to see in the world.
It only takes one person to listen, for us to feel heard.
And it only takes one person to believe in us, for us to begin believing in ourselves.
If the video inspires you, forward it on so that we can continue to shine the light.
With love and hope,
P.S. The original post and video is below.
P.P.S. Part 2 and 3 of the video will be out soon. Subscribe to the mailing list (below) to know when they’re released. And if you need help working through your own personal story, whatever it may be, feel free to book some time with me here.
September 15, 2017
— Learning to Love from Those Who Hate —
Have you ever wondered why some of us hate? Why there are humans among us who connect with hate or racism as a way of being and a way of living and loving? Have you ever wondered if you yourself could become more tolerant—not just of those who think or believe as you do, but even of those who don’t?
If so, please take a few minutes to watch this video about understanding hate. The video is Part One of a three-part series of a casually recorded conversation with a man I met about a month ago while I was out on a walk, shortly after the incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia. He’s covered in swastika tattoos. And yet, the minute I met him on the sidewalk above the ocean blue, I knew there was much we were placed before each other to teach and to learn, not just about hate, but also about love.
My heart opened wide at “hello,” and as we talked, I opened fully and completely to hear his truth without judgment and without shame. I’m so thankful I did because what I learned is that despite the thirty-three swastikas that adorn his body, he’s spent the last few years trying to learn how to love.
I wouldn’t have known that had I judged or shamed him at first site.
By going through my own journey of learning to love myself and teaching others the same, I’ve learned that as we begin to increase our own understanding of why people hate, we’re given the opportunity to increase our own capacity for tolerance and love. And as our tolerance increases, so too does the tolerance of others around us.
And thus, we stop being a part of the problem, a part of the divide we’re endeavoring to close.
Instead, we become a part of the solution, a part of the change we want to see in the world, a part of the healing that needs to happen so that one day we can awaken to realize that we all have stories and we all have journeys. We all have reasons why we believe what we believe. Our differences don’t have to separate us. Our differences can unite us.
This man and I are courageously stepping into the divide. And we’re stepping into the truth of what “united we stand” looks like and feels like.
Johnny is his name.
If you feel safe and inspired, please close your eyes as you listen to our conversation so you can truly hear. And if you feel guided, please also forward on this post and video.
I’m sending warmth to you all – as well as prayers, love and light. May your hearts fill with love for yourself, your family, your enemies and all of mankind. We are all souls journeying together and desperately trying to find peace – and we all come to the party with very different experiences of what causes us discord.
I love you.
With blessings, love and light,
P.S. Here’s a post I wrote a while back about Loving Someone You Hate . It’s one of the most powerful pieces I’ve ever written.