If it’s true that you can’t love anybody until you love yourself first, then the opposite must also be true.
You can’t hate anybody until you hate yourself first.
Look around. Anytime you observe someone acting in a hateful way towards others, that’s not an accident. It’s a release valve. They’re trying to pay the pain forward.
Because when you hate yourself, the only thing that makes you feel better is getting other people to feel the same way as you do.
The old saying that hurt people hurt people, cheesy as it may sound, is still a spiritual law of the universe.
That’s something about my own heart that changed over the years. Witnessing all this excessive criticism, aggression, violence and abhorrence in the world, it still disgusts and angers me, but at the same time, it also softens me. There’s something inside of my soul that goes, wow, that person must be in a lot of pain right now.
Damn, can you even imagine what kind of trauma must have happened in that individual’s life for them to act that way?
In fact, under what circumstances would it make perfect sense that this person would think or behave like that?
Of course they’re hateful.
Crichton, the late great novelist of many of our generation’s finest science fiction stories, once wrote that all human behavior has a reason. All behavior is solving a problem. He’s not saying we should excuse people’s behavior. Everyone should still be held accountable for hateful acts.
But one of the best ways each of us can elevate the collective consciousness of humanity is to practice decoding people’s deplorable acts with curiosity, empathy and compassion; in addition to our usual disgust, anger and confusion.
It’s a hard habit to master. Holding two competing emotions simultaneously can make us feel guilty and insensitive at first.
But in time, this practice can positively change our energy signature. It can shift our posture for better and for always. Bringing us closer to each other, and therefore, closer to enlightenment.
Doing so may not pour the hate back into the bottle, but it’s not a bad place to start.
Michael famously sang that he was starting with the man in the mirror, asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer, if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.
If you don’t think that’s a love song, listen again.
As above, so below, as within, so without.
This is how compassion grows and flourishes. We start with ourselves intentionally, and it echoes and ripples out to others incidentally.
Next time you notice someone acting in an odious way, remember that you can’t hate anybody until you hate yourself first.
Maybe that person simply wants to be loved, just like the rest of us.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Whose vitriol do you have a hard time forgiving?