Dear Reader,

I’ve missed this space. But I hope it hasn’t been too long since we last connected. The piece below came to me during a morning reflection earlier this week. I’d been experiencing interpersonal issues with someone very close to me and was wrestling with myself as to the best way through to the other side.

I’m not sure why I’m sharing it… I guess I’m hoping that others who’ve experienced deep feelings of frustration, with their beliefs or themselves, will reach out so we can at least give each other a virtual hug.

Here it goes,


Love as a Revolution Totally Sucks

Leading with Love, especially when you’re hurt, angry, wounded etc, is so difficult, mainly because it’s… well, just plain unfair.

You will not explode, you will not explode, you will not explode...Really, to repeatedly “rise above” the most frustrating, painful, or otherwise emotionally debilitating situations due to racism, sexism, homophobia, other power struggles, or even our personal relationships, practically demands we deny our human instincts: to flee, to defend, to scream in the face of violence.

And all for what? For the sake of “elevating ourselves”, and in so doing, others, to a lighter, healthier place? Why should I have to bear the burden of elevating so many other assholes to a lighter place?? Why should people who continue to wreak havoc upon those with less power benefit from the rest of us trying to be our “best selves”?

On days like these – when I can feel my blood about to boil over, and I have no patience to teach others how to treat me better, and would rather just open my mouth and use my literary talents for revenge, I have to remind myself that the alternative is much worse.

Succumbing to my emotions, placing my own needs above everyone else’s, reacting from a place of anger, pain, and whatever else – especially against people who I do not understand, and I feel so strongly have wronged me in some way – doesn’t make me any better, or different; it just makes me a hypocrite.

And I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I want to use as many tough moments (as I have capacity) to practice re-centering myself in compassion. I want to nurture my curiosity about others feelings and emotional contexts so diligently that it eventually begins to kick in more often than my survivalist instinct to fight or flee.

I want to walk the talk, practice what I preach, be able to look others and myself in the face, and do much better than say “do better”, but “well done.”

That said, I’m human. So, on some days, my emotions do get the best of me, and I clam up, retreat, raise my voice, say mean things, and I let myself down.

Rather than beat myself up, I need to remember that this is okay, too. Because it reminds me that I’m no better than the folks I’m trying to “rise above.” That personal growth is one half perspective, and one half harsh truths. And that the most important thing to remember isn’t the person you are, or even the person you’re striving to be, but the journey that exists between the two.

Don’t ever stop trying.

Love As a Revolution Always Wins

12 Responses to Love as a Revolution Totally Sucks

  1. I think if we can manage to do some good, then we will have done some good.

  2. Wilnelia Rivera says:

    Its a permanent battle but the important part is the desire to be on the side of love; knowing that your humanity will get in the way sometimes

  3. Dora Ng says:

    thank you Spectra, you have taken a muddy mess of emotions that have been stewing in my heart and given it form. hugs to you and your struggles, may we all have the strength to carry on with love.

  4. John Brier says:

    Hi, I saw your request on Facebook for comments so here goes.

    Based on the title of this, and how you started the article I was worried you were going to say “to hell with love,” but I’m glad you didn’t. I love love and compassion and I love how spirituality influences your work. As someone who also puts a high priority on personal growth and as a writer, I especially loved the whole last paragraph, your definition of personal growth seems spot on to me, it’s learning all the ways of being (perspective), and then looking at the ways we are currently being (harsh truths), and lining them up in the way we’d like to be. And your point about the journey being more important than who we are, or who we strive to be is particularly relevant to me as I have been growing into new ways of being. You made those two points succinctly and clearly. As for personal growth, I find it easy to set high standards and be overly critical on the journey, and to forget the journey. Recently I had to step back and acknowledge, and even bless myself, for my successes in order to give myself some slack on my journey, so I can see I don’t need to be so critical, that I’m making progress just fine.

  5. Herleena Hunt says:

    Awesome words, I spent last weekend rolling in the mud with those who worked at dragging me down. I went there and spent hours there. I was thinking of ways to show them what a holes they were, without looking like one myself. I stopped by Monday night, and I felt my anger fade. At first I was upset that I even went there, but then realize once I got out of it all it was gone. Thankful I am not carrying around a grudge or resentment days later.

  6. Thank you for this – and for all that you share, whether frequent or occasional, it is treasured.

    I deeply relate to your struggle with anger and love and I have to work really consciously to embrace the more enabling and connected path (love) when that is possible. The more I am reminded of that the better. But I also work to forgive myself when I do get frustrated or need to prioritize my own emotional well-being or even safety above all, I hope you’re also cutting yourself that kind of slack.

    I want to stay open, to genuinely connect. It’s the best way to listen, understand and actually be able to grow myself and hopefully impact others in positive ways, rather than shutting them down. But in particular cases, when someone has really harmed you and made it clear they will do so again, there is also a point where distancing yourself and prioritizing your health and your ability to create your own magic in this world is legit and even wise. It shouldn’t be a pattern or a go-to strategy, but I think it is a necessary option.

    Since you are also referencing interpersonal struggles with those who are close, you got me thinking about how severing ties with my abusive family was a really important step I had to take in order to be able to do all of the other, more important things that I need to do in this world. It wasn’t out of anger or revenge, which can definitely be toxic, but growing up in that environment did not prepare me well to assert my boundaries and needs and to be forgiving toward myself, so I do also have to remind myself that self-protection is not always selfish. But I am determined not to let that experience deprive me of the ability to follow a path of love and to hope and try for that connection with everyone I meet. Your writing often helps me stay focused on that.

    Oh, and I’m seriously going to print this line to hang in my space, as encouragement & reminder: “I want to nurture my curiosity about others feelings and emotional contexts so diligently that it eventually begins to kick in more often than my survivalist instinct to fight or flee.” That is one of the best things I’ve ever read… thank you.

  7. Kirsten Brueggerhoff says:

    Only a heart so full and so bright and so open – can even feel such torment and anger and suffering. You feel deeply. period. and I feel it with you. May you come back to the soft spot that is waiting for you on the other side of your anger. may you pass through the fire of your anger with the same grace and honesty that you love everything – so much…. what is true about you is that you care. and that is not something that will ever disappear – dissipate – or burn up and die. take good care of your precious angry self and know that you are ok and coming through it in just the way and time that you need to. I love you for what you do. Kirsten in Texas

  8. AnJoe Ang says:

    This touched me not only personally, but also because I was just advising my friend the other night to "rise above ourselves" when dealing with difficult situations. She had a bad day at work, trying to work things out with her client who was not meeting her half way. We both agree that it's easy to say not to react out of anger and frustration but it's super difficult to act on it. Your emphasis on the journey really hits me straight and inspires me. So, thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Love things
    I believe jare!

  10. Mimi Mwiya says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this,Spectra! I recently had a big fall-out with someone I considered a good friend and everyday has been a struggle for me to forgive and keep loving… I think this will at least see me through the year and by then my love might have been replenished! :-)

  11. Zami Jiménez says:

    I can say this spoke to me in many ways. It's okay to cave sometimes – all that energy needs to be released and we r only human. Our "relapses" or those moments where we aren't so composed reminds me that we all have s fire burning in our belly – those flames are real. And they can be moments for growth as well. Ive gotten to know myself best during trying times….i see what i am and am not capable of, and im reminded im perfectly human…

  12. Alex Hilton says:

    This is really beautiful, thankyou :)

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