I'm a little behind with closing out our theme for Feb. I now realize the universe had other intensions for me the past few weeks, so I'm closing out our theme of love now. I'm viewing this as part of my daily practice away from protectionism and towards authenticity. So this is my way of apologizing for the delay, and thanking you for baring with me. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began the work that would grow to become the civil rights movement, he saw and experienced first hand the injustices being done to Black Americans. Dr. King, who was a scholarly spiritual leader looked to resources founded in philosophy as well as religion. The concept that Dr. King leaned most heavily on, when it came to civil rights and social justice, was The Beloved Community. Dr. King used this belief to structure and shape his leadership and the civil rights movement. The four pillars of the Beloved Community included: Justice : Injustice needs to be eradicated and we must fight for all people to receive equal justice under our legal system. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom: Those who participate in the oppression of others actively engage in the dehumanization of their fellow human beings. So we must actively work towards freedom for all people. King wrote and spoke about having a moral imperative to love and care for others as though they were our own siblings, parents, or children. If we approached freedom from this perspective it becomes easier to want this for all of us, rather than a few who we deem, "deserving." Equality: The view of equality through the Beloved Community is that each of us was given self-worth and inherent dignity from a divine source at birth. When we deny this connection we support (and may even engage in) the marginalization of others. Love: This was the fourth and foundational tenet of Beloved Community. Love is considered to be the most powerful force of the four pillars. Love's inherent energy is the ability to transform and heal, turning enemies into friends, moving people from isolation to belonging, and opening the door to healed trauma and pain. Dr. King's notion of Agape love did not separate the worthy from the unworthy. Instead Agape love asks us to make no distinction between a friend and a foe, but rather love both as equals. This is the love required to preserve and create community. This is the love that is in connection between humans to each other and humans to a divine energy. By acknowledging this loving bond we also open ourselves to receive love from these sources as well. When we begin to see ourselves as each other as possessing this energy, we see a divine connection to each other. When we honor this connection by loving others as we would the divine, we actively put agape love into practice. This is the highest form of altruism or universal love. Learning about this shifted a lot for me in the way I think of love. It moved it from the Hallmark aisle on Valentine's day to a real and tangible power. A power that, when harnessed with authentic intensions has the ability to transform the world give us the sense of belonging that escapes so many. I wanted to end this months theme on agape love because it is the force of love in it's purest form- and that shit is super powerful. So if this concept of Agape love sparked something in you- follow that feeling. Begin to research and educate your self on Agape love and wholehearted living. You will be amazed to discover the power that is inside of you and how much love you have to share.