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Episode 194: How (and Why) to Love Your Opponent with Valarie Kaur, author of See No Stranger

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Last night I sat on my couch, cheeks still wet from tears, soaked in the bittersweet moment of feeling sad that I was closing the cover of a book I’d just finished and that I was deeply moved by.

I both wanted there to be more to read and also felt so totally satisfied and changed by the experience of taking it in.

We’re 3 months away from the 2020 United States Presidential Election.

An election in the midst of a pandemic and racial justice awakening is an even bigger deal than your average election.

And so, here we are, entering a season of even more intensity.

Why am I talking about the election?

Because the book I finished last night is the manual for how we can come together as humans to heal in what is the most divisive time I’ve ever lived through (though I know that historically there have been more divisive times).

4 years ago, just before the presidential election of 2016, I sat in a huge auditorium in Brooklyn holding a dear friend’s hand and weeping as we listened to the author of this book offer her son’s birth story as a metaphor for the intense time we were navigating then.

She asked, “What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if America is not dead, but a country that is waiting to be born?”

We passed tissues up and down the aisle to people we didn’t know, yet who were not strangers.

Valarie Kaur’s practice of Revolutionary Love is the blueprint we need to heal as a nation and as a world.

As hate crimes, xenophobia, white nationalism, and other symptoms of fear increase, now more than ever we need a new roadmap…one guided not only by love but also by the body and joy.

This week we’re sharing a new episode of The Kate & Mike Show, featuring activist, scholar, and bestselling author Valarie Kaur, and in it you’ll hear:

  • Why wonder is the path to true healing
  • What Valarie experienced at Guantanamo Bay and how it changed her
  • How to know when to breathe and when to push in the labor of revolutionary love
  • The freedom in forgiveness and how to do it even when it feels like you can’t
  • How to love your opponent (including how to know when it’s safe to do so and when it’s time to allow someone else to do it for you)
  • How to know what your role is in the transition of our country and world
How (and Why) to Love Your Opponent with Valarie Kaur, author of See No Stranger

In This Episode

  • What Valarie is most concerned about now that her book is published [7:31]
  • How she relates the current political happenings with being in labor [9:46]
  • The gift she received that very few mothers and activists ever get [13:18]
  • The way we can choose wonder over hate, and example of how Valarie does this [16:56]
  • The real meaning behind her latest book’s title [22:36]
  • Why we don’t need to be grinding and suffering in this work [26:51]
  • How we can determine what our role is in the revolutionary love movement [30:24]
  • How Valarie learned about forgiveness the hard way, and the lessons this experience has taught her [34:36]
  • What love has to do with the survival of our species [38:05]
  • Why everyone, especially men, need to get involved now – and how they can do it [43:01]

Selected Links from the Episode

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Get On Kate’s Mailing List  (and get the Weekly Planning Ritual Guide)

Her First Book, Money: A Love Story & The Money Love Course Enrollment For Origin ®& Mastermind/Incubator Waitlist

Valarie’s Website (with Viral Video) & TED Talk

Her New Book, See No Stranger Together Rising Ben Shapiro on The Joe Rogan Experience Groundswell Faithful Internet Yale Visual Law Project

Connect with Kate, Mike & Valarie on Instagram!

People Mentioned

Meggan Watterson Glennon Doyle Breonna Taylor George Floyd Grace Lee Boggs Balbir Singh Sodhi Ani DiFranco

Podcast Details

Apple Podcasts


  • Anonymous

    In reference to episode 194. I have much respect for you and your work and your mother – I have to say I am very surprised at what you believe the source of the racial injustice stems from and what perpetuates it. I would strongly urge you to research what and who is truly behind the divisiveness in our country and where it began – evil always shines the light on something to take it off itself. The evil behind what rules not only this nation but the world is beyond what many can even begin to fathom. It does not begin at who the current POTUS is. I would suggest you also research what President Trump has done to bring down the evil of child sex and human trafficking and drug cartels and corporate leaders and criminal corrupt politicians who have been behind the racial unrest and how it has profited them and how it fits their narrative to continue the focus on racial injustice so as to take the attention off the evil they have flourished in for decades. ( and how it ties into what is going on in our nation ) I would also suggest doing research into what the true basis was for the George Floyd death. It is tiring to see how people are so blinded by what narrative is pushed. This isn’t about a Republican or Democratic issue. It is between good and evil and as I stated before – evil ALWAYS directs the attention somewhere else so as to take the spotlight over what is truly taking place.

    • Kate Northrup

      Thanks for your thoughts. I have many people and sources of information in my life that are on all sides of this conversation. There’s a lot of grey area. Please trust that I’m listening and learning in a holistic way and will continue to share the best of what I find to move us ever toward love and liberation.

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