🎉 A teaching on revolutionary love...and a birthday celebration! The Wednesday 1-2-3

publishedabout 1 month ago
4 min read

Good morning Reader,

Today is officially Unmasking the Inner Critic’s one-year book birthday! As part of celebrating how it’s moved the past 365 days, I’m offering a free extra copy to share for anyone who buys a copy in the next couple days. More info on this is at the bottom of today’s email!

Here's 1 teaching, 2 questions, and 3 resources to explore this week:


1. Teaching

Before reading today, I invite you to pause and take a deep breath.

The world feels so heavy right now.

I've been feeling it in my muscles and in my posture – a sense of constriction. From the human destruction being done in Israel and Palestine, to the mass shooting in Maine, to the 3-week chaos and final election of a Christian theocrat as House Speaker – there is a growing tightness in my chest and a feeling of dread when I look into our world.

Perhaps you feel a bit of this, too.

Valarie Kaur has a powerful teaching on revolutionary love that feels vital in this time of seemingly-endless crisis and transition.

Here's what she has to say:

Revolutionary love is the call of our times. If you cringe when people say that love is the answer, I do, too. I am not talking about sentimentality or civility or thoughts and prayers.

I am talking about love as labor, a conscious embodied practice.

Social reformers and spiritual teachers through history led entire nonviolent movements anchored in the ethic of love. Time and again, people gave their bodies and breath for one another, not only in the face of fire hoses and firing squads but also in the quieter venues of their daily lives. Black feminists like bell hooks have long envisioned a world where the love ethic is a foundation for all arenas of our society. It’s time to reclaim love as a force for justice.

Here is my offering:

Love is a form of sweet labor: fierce, bloody, imperfect, and life-giving—a choice we make over and over again. Love as labor can be taught, modeled, and practiced. This labor engages all our emotions. Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger protects that which is loved.

And when we think we have reached our limit, wonder is the act that returns us to love.

“Revolutionary love” is the choice to labor for others, for our opponents, and for ourselves in order to transform the world around us. It begins with wonder: You are a part of me I do not yet know.

It is not a formal code or prescription but an orientation to life that is personal and political, sustained by joy. Loving only ourselves is escapism; loving only our opponents is self-loathing; loving only others is ineffective. All three practices together make love revolutionary, and revolutionary love can only be practiced in community.

She goes on to ask us, in the midst of this moment:

What does the midwife tell us to do? To breathe.

To breathe in the heaviness, the anguish, the frustration, the questions. To let all of this settle, to see it, to be with it, to be with each other, to understand the context in which we are in. To recognize our joy, our grief, our anger, our wonder.

And then? To push.

To push forward and embody revolutionary love within our communities as we commit to moving toward justice and healing and new futures being made possible.

2. Questions

  1. Take a moment to breathe in your experience of the world right now. What are you feeling? What is the texture of the current moment for you? How is your body holding – or not holding – this reality?
  2. Are you loving yourself right now? How? Are you loving your opponents? How? Are you loving others? How? In what ways do you have the capacity to embody revolutionary love in your communities? And what might that look like?

3. Resources

Action:

In a recent Instagram post, Valarie Kaur writes:

We can shift culture and consciousness right where we are — only if we believe in our own sweet wisdom, only if we are willing to say, even when our voice trembles: "Their children are our children..."

Please consider calling your representatives and telling them you want the United States to support a ceasefire in Gaza and a release of hostages. It is a numbers game and every call counts.

You can find your local officials and their contact information here.


Over the course of the past year, Unmasking the Inner Critic has really found itself in the midst of a great adventure. Here are some of the tales from its travels:

🎧 Featured on 18 podcasts

📚 11+ book groups have used it

👍 5.0 rating on Amazon with 41 reviews

🌏 Over 2,000 copies shared across 12+ countries

🏆 Awarded the 2023 Pacific Book Award for Best Spirituality

🏆 Awarded the 2023 International Firebird Book Award for Best Mind/Body/Spirit

Again and again, I’ve been filled with gratitude to learn of people sharing the book with friends, reading it alongside others, and recommending it to colleagues and community members. It has simply been an incredible experience.

To celebrate how it’s moved over the past year, I’m offering an extra copy to anyone who buys one in the next couple days!

All you have to do is purchase a copy using this link and I’ll send you an extra one to share 🙂 (And if you've already bought one, maybe consider buying another and giving your new copies to a friend or local church that could use them!)

Thank you all so, so, so much for your love and support – I’m just as grateful today as I was one year ago. ❤️

Sending you good vibes,

Andrew

Andrew Lang

I support folks who are questioning the stories they were handed (by religion, by capitalism, by their families) and who are seeking new practices that resonate with their evolving spirituality and identity.

Read more from Andrew Lang