Friday, August 17, 2007

Kindness in the face of hatred

This was a week when I was challenged to be kind in the face of some serious hatred, unkindness, and anger. A friend of mine was verbally attacked on a forum that debunks bad psychics. The mean spirited nature of the postings really upset me. The tone was angry and the name calling was hurtful. I wish I could say my first response was wholly loving but I could have been kinder too.

I prayed to understand what was underneath their mean spiritedness, and the upset began to melt as I saw the the souls involved. In their own way, these people were trying to do good in the world. In all likelihood they've known people who have been abused by bad psychics of frauds and want to protect others from the same. I can't say I blame them. Some of my clients have been sucked in by the worst of predators claiming to be psychic. I could see where this crowd was coming from. I just wished they hadn't been so hateful.

At the risk of being bashed myself, I owned who I was and shared both my name and some personal emails with the gentleman who owns the forum. I truly wanted to understand his perspectives. I felt a desparation in him that almost made me cry with compassion. He wants to believe in something more, but life keeps showing him the darker side. And God knows, that does exist.

After a few emails we started treating each other with more kindness, and while we likely will never agree on everything I hope he understands my heart a little bit more and I feel I understand his more too. He said one thing to me that spoke volumes. He said, "I am not a monster" and I got off the email and cried, because we do turn each other into monsters when fight and argue and I knew he was just another human being doing his best and trying to help the world in the way he felt called to do it. Its not my way but who am I to judge?

The original anger that arose in me, I realized, was really deep sadness and frustration that I can't prove or force God's love that I feel so much in my own heart, on a daily basis, on the hurting souls in this world. The anger in him seemed to be a frustration that no one could prove God or the afterlife to him. I realized in that moment we were flip sides of one coin, each seeking truth in our own very different ways.

I can honestly say after that dialogue I saw all there is to love in his soul and can honor him for his underlying motivations however they came across. After all I am not perfect either.

Our only real power is the power to love. Its not easy these days with the world in chaos, but if we CAN find the love inside ourselves even when others are not loving, if we can find compassion for others rather than taking their angry words personally and lashing back, if we can stop the arguments, and let go even when others won't, then we will have achieved a rare and beautiful level of mastery on this planet.

This does not mean you put up with or stick around abuse. It just means you choose to love the soul while choosing to turn away from hurtful behavior and create healthy boundaries.

There is too much terrorism in the world already in the form of the verbal and physical attacks - whether the hatred is aimed at oneself or another. Somewhere it has to stop. It has to stop with us. This week it stopped with me. Compassionate understanding erases pain. Choosing to love erases the ego's need to hurt back.

Try to choose love just a little bit more every day. The world is very much in need of our peaceful hearts.