Perhaps you know the ecological restoration story of wolves being reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, but do you know what this story might teach us about liberating love?
Wolves, once present throughout Yellowstone, were seen as a threat to commercial livestock production, and so they were widely hunted to the point of near extinction, which was devastating for the ecosystem. As conservationists began to teach the value of ecosystems, debate ensued about whether to bring the wolves back. The eventual decision was far from easy or universally popular. It was a decision that required looking beyond immediate fears and misconceptions towards a greater vision of ecological health, interconnection, and balance.
Liberating love is a lot like those wolves—fierce, misunderstood at times, but absolutely essential for the health and balance of the whole.
When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone, they were seen by many as a threat. But in truth, they were healers, bringing a lost balance back to the park. This is what liberating love does. It might challenge our comfort zones, it might stir things up, but it’s all about restoring balance and harmony to the larger system—our communities, societies, and even our planet.
The wolves didn’t just change the landscape; they changed the entire ecosystem. Deer populations, which had been overgrazing, were controlled, allowing regrowth and diversity of plant life. This in turn brought back birds, bears, and beavers, and even changed the flow of rivers!
Similarly, liberating love changes the landscapes of our lives. It might start with a single act, a single voice, but its ripple effects can transform the entire fabric of our society.
Liberating love teaches us to be courageous, even when misunderstood or faced with resistance. It’s about looking at the bigger picture and understanding that our actions, however small they may seem, have the power to initiate widespread change. It’s a call to be bold in our love, to stand up for what’s right, and to remember that our freedom and wellbeing are deeply interconnected with those around us.
So, as we move forward, let’s embrace our inner “wolves”—let’s be fierce in our compassion, bold in our actions, and wise in our understanding of how deeply connected we all are. Because, just like in Yellowstone, the health and harmony of our “ecosystem” depends on it.
Submitted by Rev. Israel Buffardi
Associate Minister for Member and Community Engagement