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Love Brings Up Everything Unlike Itself

February 17, 2011

“Love brings up everything unlike itself. Fear is detoxed, subconsciously brought to the fore whenever love arrives. Once aroused, it will either trigger us or depart from us, depending on whether it is forgiven or punished.”
~ Marianne Williamson ~

I lay awake at 3 a.m. this morning thinking about that quote and about my friend Erin.

I can’t believe that you don’t know Erin since EVERYONE knows Erin, but in the off chance that you haven’t made her acquaintance, let me tell you about her. She is an intelligent, outspoken, funny, gorgeous woman. When I say outspoken, I mean REALLY outspoken. She has given her opinions on TV news talk shows, on Huffington Post, at the White House, and in about 1000 tweets every day on Twitter.

She is the mother of two, the loving wife of Aaron, a devoted daughter and sister. She is an award-winning journalist and a member of the BlogHer staff.

Over the past couple of years, she has been fighting a battle with lupus, an autoimmune disease that has made her the veteran of too many surgeries.

She is also the recipient of death threats. Serious, ugly, horrible death threats.
Death Threat tweet
Kids death threat

It is beyond me why anyone, much less several people, would think it is ok to post this kind of ugliness aimed at anyone. That it is targeted toward a mother of small children and someone who is fighting a deadly disease is even more reprehensible.

The weird thing is that it isn’t that uncommon. Time after time when I have seen people online open their hearts fully and generously sharing stories of grief, loss and vulnerability, they are viciously attacked with the most ugly of words and accusations.

I have seen it happen to Loralee and Tanis when they talked about losing their babies, to Katie when she wrote about having a crushing headache for almost a year. To too many others to list.

I’ve seen people accused of being liars about their sick children and about their own illnesses and grief. I have seen people told they were “making it all up.” That they deserved their loss and pain.

It’s a little much sometimes. No, I’m lying. It’s a lot much sometimes.

I can’t figure it out, either, but I have two guesses –
1. People are out there waiting to prey on weaknesses. Like sharks smelling blood in the water, they see the wounded and go into an attack frenzy.
2. Marianne Williamson is right. They see someone shining bright with love and care for humanity, someone honest and open and free, and they rush toward that light, not to bask in it, not to read by it, but to try and smother it out.

Either way it hurts. It doesn’t just hurt me because I love Erin and Loralee and Katie and Tanis and all of those other honest, open people who have shared and who have been beaten down for it, though that does hurt a lot.

It hurts me because it takes away from my humanity, too. It makes me worry that I might close down just a little, choose my words more carefully, shine my light less brightly, because I never know when someone will come for me the way they have for those women.

I want to promise that I won’t. I don’t know what I’d do if someone threatened me or the people I love, and I don’t want to find out. I just want that kind of ugliness to be over. Will it ever stop?

  1. February 17, 2011 16:48

    Keep your voice. Keep it loud. Keep it strong.

  2. February 17, 2011 16:50

    I do think there are people out there lying about stuff, and that makes some people jaded. But that’s where my understanding ends; why anyone feels like they’re judge and jury and should “call out” people, at best, or worse, threaten them, eludes me.

    I’m glad you won’t take it sitting down. Confirms my belief that good does eventually squash evil.

    • February 17, 2011 18:50

      I know there are crazies out there. But people come out of the woodwork to accuse anyone who has an problem of lying about it. Gah.

  3. February 17, 2011 18:37

    That makes me sick that someone is doing that to Erin. I’m completely baffled by this type of behavior, so senseless.

    • February 17, 2011 18:49

      That is because you are a sane and kind person.

  4. neeroc permalink
    February 18, 2011 07:41

    What the hell? That is so far beyond trolling. I hope there are authorities involved here. Sad, sad, sick people.

    • February 18, 2011 13:47

      Yeah, law enforcement is on the case, which is why she can’t talk about it herself.

  5. February 18, 2011 09:49

    I so don’t understand.

  6. February 18, 2011 23:11

    This is why I don’t show my weaknesses anymore. My blog has shriveled up and died. I write privately, for me, when I need to get it out. I share some of the good and when I don’t have good to share or I am fighting the depression, like now, I hide. I’m scarce. I do not have the thick skin anymore, and just I can’t do it.

    • February 19, 2011 13:02

      I understand, but that sucks for your readers who appreciate you (ahem). You have so much to say about growing up and being a good parent, a great wife and a relatively 😉 sane person after having such a rocky childhood. I have learned a lot from your writing and to have some idjits cause you to shut down hurts my heart. I don’t blame you and I’m not asking you to change, because I know you’re doing what you need to do. But it stinks.

  7. February 19, 2011 22:52

    I have so much to say about this, I can’t even begin. It is sad and hateful that people are so small and petty that they cannot stand in the glow of real beauty

    • February 20, 2011 21:11

      Yup. I think mental illness may play a part, too, though I don’t know.

  8. February 21, 2011 20:41

    and the internet apparently hates them too – only the link to tanis worked for me.

    there’s so much going on in the world and our country right now that i can’t understand. i used to vote republican and now i am repulsed by the party and its stand on unions, women and the environment.

    wth happened to sanity? reason? civility, for pete’s sake?

    i hope you keep your voice – i enjoy it very much, even when i don’t happen to agree with it. so, let me know if i need to add troll-crusher to the resume. 😉

    • February 21, 2011 21:37

      Maybe it isn’t the internet. Maybe the linkage problem is ME.

      Anonymity breeds rotten behavior. I’m almost at the point that I think there should be some kind of identity verification process for the internets. I said almost.

  9. February 22, 2011 12:22

    “Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness.” – Vasily Grossman, “Life and Fate”

    I wish it wasn’t true, but I am increasingly thinking that it is. It explains why people do what is rightfully making us all so upset.

    • February 22, 2011 12:54

      I hope not. I think the evils just loom larger in our minds. I believe there is more love and caring, but we don’t pay enough attention to it.

      • February 24, 2011 18:44

        I hope that you are right and I try and do my part. 🙂

        • February 27, 2011 19:13

          I can see how, doing the research you are doing, the darkness can seem all-pervasive.

  10. April 20, 2011 03:00

    Ooof. Sadface.
    I do a pretty good job of shining my light. ;p
    I believe in “pronoia”–the idea that the universe is conspiring to shower us with blessings. ;p

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