According to the dictionary, to defy means to “challenge the power of; resist boldly or openly.” Defiance is something that isn’t often discussed among supposedly enlightened people because defiance signifies resistance and, as we’ve been told over and over, resistance is bad. Or, at the very least, inadvisable. In theory, I understand why resistance is problematic. We cannot change what is; we cannot fundamentally imagine away the ugliness of our world and often the only way to truly find peace with it is to accept that it is rather than to suppose it isn’t.
But let’s go inside ourselves for a bit.
Love, peace and compassion are beautiful things. And while they exist in abundance, where do they come from? Do they linger around the air and drop tiny fairy dust particles on us, thus making us blissful? Do they single out very few people for special treatment or can we all have these emotions? Can we inhabit love and compassion within ourselves despite the circumstances? Yes, damn it!
After the horrific events that unfolded in Orlando recently, my hope in mankind was severely depleted. On Sunday, after a marathon of TV news watching, fighting back tears mixed with rage and disillusionment, I came to a very crucial realization: I didn’t have time for hate. I loved myself and others far too much to surrender my essential belief that we are good and that we have boundless, infinite potential to love one another. I pondered this realization, amid the chaos and heartache of the moment. I pondered those who had encountered unspeakable misery and tragedy and had yet found a way to somehow cling to their happiness and sense of love and purpose. The answer is quite simple and, actually, quite controversial: we have to love defiantly. In the face of horror and evil, we have to stand firm and not surrender our love and compassion. We cannot allow the sting of hate to render our love ineffective. On the contrary, it is in times of heartache that heats shine ever brighter; that we can see with clarity just how much love there is and always has been in this world.
This idea is controversial because some may say that, if we have to force love, then it’s inauthentic. But I would disagree. Negative energy sucks our energy dry. We fear…fear. When horrible things happen, the sting always outweighs whatever good there is because, sadly, we often overlook the good for the bad. And that’s okay. It’s a normal reaction. So, to not completely lose the balance, there are times when we have to search out the good…the good in others and in ourselves. Times when we have to recognize that we are the fountains and springs of love and compassion ourselves. And it takes effort. In many ways, it is an act of fortitude. Lying down and taking it doesn’t always lead us to peace. We may sit in the lotus position with incense burning and spa music playing and be completely depressed wrecks. And that’s fine, we can accept that. But if we’re going to create love, we must be willing to create it and not assume that it will just be.