the direction of love and hate

love hate constellation personal conscience
I was reminded yesterday of a this quote…

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him

GK Chesterton

It was offered in the context of the recent Paris attacks, but it reminded me of the truth in this for us all, not just for the soldier, the man on the battlefield, the terrorist. We all have a bond, a love of what shaped us, what gives us belonging, those ‘like us’ who give us a place. We feel┬ástrong ties to our formative experiences; strong connections to our family of birth; a place where we learned the unspoken rules of belonging. Where we experienced love. We all have strong attachment to familiarity, to the system we operate in, to its customs and culture and to the way of working we have become aligned to. It too gives us a sense of place, a sense of belonging.

Perhaps this in part explains why change can be hard? We have to let go of connections, friends, customs, behaviours, ways of being which have given us a security.

Maybe we don’t hate the change we face, but rather we resist it from a place of love for what has gone before? What is, or will be, behind us?


crow or duck?

metaphor birds
How might your stance, your way of being, be reflected in the nature of a bird?

Might you strut your stuff, chest out, proudly scampering across the ground like a little wagtail?

Might you be territorial? Red chested and willing to defend your patch, but still a firm favourite in the organisational garden, like a robin?

Might you play small, flit from undergrowth to undergrowth? Be hard to spot, whilst energetically going about your business, like a wren?

Might you majestically glide through the calm waters of life, proud, erect, showing no outward effort or emotion, whilst, should you and yours be threatened, you can come out fighting, with power and presence, like a swan?

Might you make a lot of noise, heard all around, even though you are high in the treetops; you get yourself noticed by the sound of your voice and your tendency to flock with birds of a feather, like a jackdaw?

Might you hide in the crowd? Swooping and swaying, ducking and diving with the group think; responding to the whims and movements of the flock, like a starling?

Might you be opportunistic? Looking for the chance meal, the roadside pickings of praise and being noticed? Surviving by the seat of your pants, scavenging for good experiences, successes and achievements, like a magpie?

Might you nurture those needing to grow? Taking the pain of the icy winds of change to keep the chick safe from cold and from predators, like a king penguin?

There are many birds. Each with its place. Each with a unique personality, but each playing its part in a rich ecosystem.