In Lakota spirituality, we have a saying, “Mitakuye Oyasin,” meaning “all my relations.”
At the heart of this simple phrase is the promise of unconditional love. When we look at the people around us and consider that we are all connected, like a family, we have an opportunity to let go of judgment, and open our hearts unconditionally.
Knowing I’m loved, no matter what, means I can just be myself—and it’s a powerful thing to be.
The strength of love can carry us over our fears, judgments, worries, and differences, and can bring us closer to a world where peace is everywhere, all the time.
Here are five ways to carry love into the world.
1. Let go of arguing.
Whether it’s arguing at a news report or with a loved one, we can let go and recognize that often, our need to argue is really our need to control, which stems from fear. If we can turn that little bit of fear toward love, then we might make some great change together.
Follow your thoughts, before, during, or in the middle of an argument, and try to love and let go. It’s not easy, especially after the habitual practice of reacting. And if we are in the middle of a long-term or recurring argument, perhaps with someone we no longer speak to, we can open our hearts and resolve it on our own by seeing their humanity, not their actions.
2. Find time for silence.
One of my goals in life is to open up a place called “The Quiet Room” where, just like at a gym, members will pay $10 for a monthly membership of unlimited quiet time. We need to still our thoughts. When we do, we allow for an inner flow of joy to channel outward. We give time to “not thinking,” not giving in to the chaos around us. With calm, we can carry more love for others through patience and empathy.
Try it. Even five minutes a day can become a practice with profound results.
3. Go outside and play.
We need to play, to let go, to remind ourselves that life is changing, fleeting, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. We spend an awful lot of time being “our roles” in the world, and we need time to not be those things.
There are numerous ways to play, but it doesn’t mean senseless, driftless drudging, like 15 hours of a TV show or video game to “numb out.” No, it’s time to let our inner joy and love—and mostly, creativity—be free. It could be through art, cooking, exploring, running, singing, skating, writing (hey!), listening, or playing sports, cards, or games. Getting “outside” means getting outside of ourselves—getting away from our routine and doing something new (that we might not even be good at!).
When we’re lighter and more free, we will be more apt to feel our infinite love and carry it into the world.
4. Let others be new to you every day.
When we meet people, we often make judgments, which are usually based on our own preconceived fears and protections. Once we get to know them, we can allow people in. But a problem often arises when we do this; what can happen is that we don’t allow them to ever change or be a new version of themselves.
We’re all changing, all the time. But across the board, I find most people just want to be loved, listened to, and cherished—in other words, to feel important. That’s what letting others be new to you each day means: forget what you learned or know about someone and just love them. Give them some cherishing. Take one person in your world right now and find out who they are today—find out something that they’re working on, or something that’s important to them. Know them in a new way.
When we can make new bridges, allowing for people to grow and be their better selves, then we are acting with a loving, open heart.
5. Sing your heart-song.
We’re all extraordinary, and yet we live compacted and hindered by our pasts, society, the opinions of others, what we eat, what we think, or what we believe. Each of us has a tiny song to sing—one that no one else can—and it’s the part of us that makes us truly unique. It’s usually what we want to be doing in life all the time, the part that is fueled by joy and happiness.
When we sing our song, unhindered, without a care for what others think, we are powerful. But often our song is on mute, or hidden away. What if we all began to sing our heart-song? If each of us let go of the “I can’t” in our lives and lived without barriers, the world would be filled with people singing their truth, singing their hearts out—and love would be plentiful.
Today, as you go out in the world, give just one of these a try. If nothing else, try to focus on the love you carry that is unlimited and shouldn’t be restricted for anyone or anything. Most important, love who you hate. It’s the cornerstone to peace in the world.
Author: Hunter Liguore
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman