There is an empty, hard, cold, chilled and chilling place in the psyche. It is a prison, a place of suspended and interrupted life, isolation, and despair. In that hellish room nothing beautiful seems to live. It is a place of thirst. A place of confinement, restriction, and hardness. We all know it – hate will take you there, resentment will turn the key and self-righteousness will lock you in. The way out is through the heart.
Only the heart, only love, can release you back to the sunlight. Only love can warm this place, make you live again, connect again, release you back in to the beauty of Being. Only when you can turn within and find the love that lives in your beating, rhythmic, beautiful heart can you quench your thirst and return to wholeness. The only way out is in.
I am writing this today when there has been a terrible and atrocious bomb attack on people, children, in Manchester at a concert. It is easy for us to condemn the constricted life-view of the murderers, and condemn it we should. This killing is the extreme of where self-righteousness can take a person, to the point of slaughter, cold hearted, cold blooded, incomprehensible acts of horror. For those of us who observe, stopped in our tracks by the enormity of the cruelty, there is a job to do. The job is to recognise our own darkness, and to fight it. We fight it by not giving in to it. By not becoming it. We might slam ourselves in to our inner cell of cold hell when things like this happen, enraged and hurt and roaring with our pain – but we have the capacity to live again. We have the capacity to not let hate win. To not let hate win, don’t let it win in you.
As Leonard Cohen put it ‘when hatred with his package comes, you forbid delivery’. That is the skill to reach for in dark times. Be angry yes, enraged, yes of course. But do not become hard, or cold, or hateful because that will not help you, or the beautiful world. Harness your anger for its heat, its passion, its life-giving, life-enhancing drive, and let it live alongside love. Do not hate just because others hate. Do not give in to the cold heart.