How can I love all the Children? Not just my family’s children, or my friends’ children, or even all human children, but the children of the sequoia trees, children of the bees, children of the wolves: how can I love all the children? This question (from a passage in Starhawk’s Spiral Dance) challenges us to love everything in existence, because every living thing is a child, springing from a divine seed, nurtured in a divine womb. Love comes naturally to anyone who sustains a sense of connection with everything, but it can be easy to lose in a culture that forces separateness and alienation upon us from infancy. We are most open and most vulnerable as Children. Our culture steals our childhood, either by hooking us into consumeristic messages, or forcing us into child labor, killing our innocence, killing our imaginations. Love is not a law written down that protects a certain group while condoning exploitation of another: it’s a law that protects everyone, without needing to be written down.
Interdependence, the Web, Gaia, the Global ecosystem, call it what you will: science is finally discovering what the ancient ways have taught all along. Indeed, the principle itself must be kept as sacred if our species even hopes to keep living on this planet. There is no “Other,” no “Enemy,” except those who consciously work to keep others from Knowing. The Knowing begins with acts of Love. Love can only include everyone. Love is limitless. Love is patient, kind. Love bends time, shakes down walls, and opens the Way. Love heals all wounds. Love begins with conscious awareness. We cannot love another without loving everything. We cannot love everything without loving ourselves. We are children, too, after all. There is no room for violence in Love. Love ends all violence. We will still feel angry, sad, or hurt sometimes, but we will cease to fight our bodies and our emotions as they rise up in us and we will no longer identify ourselves with those emotions or sensations.
Incidentally, when I selected a card at random to represent the epitome of Love, Strength Reversed appeared: Surrender. We have to release the control we exert on our everyday existence. If we harden our hearts, or try to close the door, ‘powering’ through our emotions without giving them time or space, Love will keep pursuing us until our ego is separated from our bodies. This can be a frightening experience, but only if we fight it. We can choose surrender to Love’s perfection. Our individual strength fails in the face of Love. Sometimes I have a hard time holding on to the hope carried on the wings of Love: that Love conquers all with irresistible power. I see the destruction of our Earth continuing all around me, despite my efforts to help the Earth heal. My efforts have consisted of recycling more, minimizing consumption of resources as much as I can while realistically maintaining pace with the world around me. I feel like I’ve dropped out of this consumeristic loop as much as I can while still engaging with society on this level. I have a used car that I try to drive as little as possible. I buy very few things new, that I consider essentials (like hiking shoes), or that I can’t find used. Even with that, I have a lot of stuff and still consume more plastics than I really need to (packaging, mostly), so sometimes for days at a time I’m plagued with the mental image of looming mountains of trash. Then I try to remind myself, our species is experiencing these things because our collective ego has chosen to evolve through this process. Sometimes, humanity must pass through the darkness of destruction to reach a state of ecstasy. To Love all the Children, I choose to know that All Life is Sacred, from the pesky mosquitoes, to the majestic elephants. To Live out this knowledge, my goal is to reach sustained resources through renewable methods, with materials used and discarded by others. I light a sacred flame, that all our trash will someday be recovered in this way, made into something beautiful.