The universe presents itself in many ways,
and love works through people.
I carry beautiful stories, powerful stories.
Stories full of love, light, and compassion
That do not weigh me down,
But lift me up.
I carry stories of survival and resilience
Of rebirth, and strength,
Determination, and resourcefulness.
These stories build my bones stronger
My mind sharp,
And my resolve fierce.
I do not carry any story alone.
The other day, I wrote about carrying stories that are difficult, but I am also reminded that I carry stories of strength and love.
Yesterday, the day after the Carrying Stories post, I had the honor of hearing my friend Julio give a guest sermon at a church outside of Vancouver, Canada. And I was stuck during his sermon that I also carry stories of light, hope, and love. I also carry stories of beauty, heroism, and love that outshine the darkness. He shared what he describes as his “journey from hate to hope.”
He spoke of the resentment and hate growing in his heart as a teenager when the military occupied his town, and he was so terrified for his life, he didnt leave his house for a year at the age of 16. He spoke of the poison in his heart, and his then his process of healing.
He spoke of how he writes poetry, and many people find healing through art, and also by telling thier stories. He tells his stories as a way to heal, and worked with his community to write a book of thier stories. He used the story of Anne Frank to inspire them. He told them Anne’s story, and he said to them, ‘do you know how we know her story? Because she wrote it down and told it, and we remember her. It is important to share your story so your children and grandchildren will remember it.’
I remember why I am inspired by Anne Frank. One of my favorite quotes is when she writes:
“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
Her writing is striking because she ultimately sees light in such darkness, a darkness that ends up taking her life.
Julio explained in his sermon that he was able to find love in his heart, and find compassion for the perpetrators, and he has been able to forgive them. He and another friend and I talked about what motivates our work. Is it fueled by anger? Or love? I ask myself, what are my motivations? I need to ask myself this every day. I feel that my research is not fueled by revenge, but by compassion and a desire to lift up voices that have been silenced.
I must never forget that I also carry beautiful stories, powerful stories, stories full of light, love and compassion, and they do not weigh me down, the lift me up. I can work hard to let these stories be the antidote to the pain and suffering, and the poison of the perpetrators. I want to be like Anne and remember that the only reason I am able to do the work I do is because I do belive that people are truly good at heart.