Love During War

I can only imagine the amount of suffering on a battle field; there are scars, both physical and mental, that would last a lifetime. As I ponder the depth of pure love, I believe it has the strength to cleanse these old wounds. Maybe in an extraordinary person, the ability to love may even be present on the battle field. I have a hard time imagining what this would look like. War seem like a series of tactical choices that always result in suffering. Could pure love transcend these impossible decisions? These are hypotheticals far beyond my scope.

I would like to stretch the limits of the worlds I try to love. I tend to only think about being more loving and accepting of my family, or a romantic love, or maybe trying to love someone who made me angry. Intellectually I know that there are situations far worse than these. I know my life has had a relatively small amount of suffering. Yet I can feel the potential of love to be so much more; I think pure love has the power to heal life long wounds.

I will continue to work to grow in dhamma and grow in metta. Maybe someday I will be strong enough to help others heal. For now I’m still working hard to heal myself.

Or maybe I’m living in a fantasy land having watched too many Disney movies. Maybe the world is bound to be full of suffering. Maybe there will always be reckless conflict. I hope not. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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