Love Me When I Least Deserve It

“Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I need it the most.”

– Swedish proverb

The Uni-verse has really been testing me this week, and this morning was especially challenging. My office is in a large medical complex with a pretty busy parking lot. After looking behind me both ways, I carefully backed out of my parking spot, when suddenly I felt BANG! A car sped around the bend and I hit it before I even had a chance to see it.

The driver of the other car was a very angry elderly man. After I asked him if he was all right, my memory of being hit by a car several years ago and all the feelings surrounding my accident came back. I then quietly said, “Sir, you should not be speeding in a parking lot. You could seriously hurt someone.” He then started yelling at me for several minutes, including while I was on the phone with my insurance company.  I stayed calm while he continued to yell and at one point he said, “Shut the hell up, lady!” That’s when I paused, looked him square in the eye and firmly just said, “Do not speak to me that way.”  The look on his face immediately changed so much that he almost looked like another person.

He then apologized to me several times for losing his temper. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling angry with him and that it didn’t take every ounce of strength to not indulge that anger and yell right back at him while he was yelling at me. I was also feeling a lot of fear, mostly from the trauma of my past accident, which suddenly resurfaced. And then he reminded me of a very important spiritual principle that can often be forgotten in the presence of strong emotions.

He apologized again and showed me his arm which had a bandage over the vein where one would get blood drawn or insert a needle for an IV and said, “Miss, again I’m very sorry I lost my temper. I just came from my doctor and it didn’t go very well and I’m just so upset and I know it’s no excuse.” And then my heart just sank.

Sometimes we can’t possibly know what someone is going through, but if they are negative or angry, then they are suffering and it’s only our higher selves that can recognize this suffering. Our egos just respond to anger and frustration with more anger and frustration. Our higher selves find compassion in these situations. And yes, I realize sometimes we need to dig really deep to find that compassion.

I shared this thought with my staff after the accident and my assistant immediately responded with, “So now we have to justify the assholes?” No! It isn’t about justifying anyone’s behavior and therefore accepting it into your life. It’s about understanding it and not allowing yourself to fall with them. I’m not saying that it isn’t challenging, but the more you are able to do it, the better YOU will feel because you’ve got a little more love in your heart and a little less negativity.

I remember doing a yoga training with Baron Baptiste years ago when he talked about the concept of the hot potato, and the image of this often comes to mind when I’m in a situation with a challenging individual like I was this morning. There will be people who live with anger or negativity for whatever reason. Think of those things as hot potatoes. Many of these people will try to pass their hot potato over to us in an effort to get rid of it. But it’s ultimately up to us whether we choose to accept it and burn ourselves with it or not.

This negativity doesn’t always take the form of someone outright screaming at us, as was the case for me today. Maybe there are people you know that constantly criticize others or criticize you in an effort to relieve themselves of their own feelings of unworthiness (more suffering).

Unfortunately, this suffering is often compounded by more negativity, as many people do not realize they are living in darkness and don’t have the capacity or tools to deal with their situation. It’s up to those of us on the spiritual path that have had glimpses of light to rise above their suffering and not make it our own. Not only does entertaining someone else’s negativity lower our own vibrations, but it also will lead to our own biochemical and physiological imbalances.

Also, by shining our own light on someone else’s pain, it increases the likelihood of resolving the situation or relationship positively and creating more light. My angry man this morning may not have apologized and shared his feelings with me had I responded to his anger with more anger. I would have walked away fuming and just thought he was a total jerk and he probably would have eventually felt guilt over his behavior because he actually turned out to be a really nice guy.

It’s not always easy, but find compassion and spread the love as often as you can, for your own sake as well as everyone else’s. You will be glad you did.

In love and in health,

Dr. Sandra Olic, NMD.

Check out her website here.

  • I just read this morning I Peter 2:11, 12… Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.”

    By acting with love, these people will see us honorable. And i believe our actions speak louder than our words and have a bigger affect on those around us. Great blog… affirms what has been on my heart lately.

    • Kimmie Hannum

      Thank you for this comment, along with this blog, I really needed to hear this as well ” I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” ~~~Sometimes the right words show up when you least expect it =) 
      God Bless

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  • ARA

    Thank you, this advice of the hot potatoes will be super healthy advice to my life. I was always trying to justify peoples attitude when they are angry and end up taking their anger with me , but as you said whatever their negativity comes from, it may not be my bussiness, my bussiness is shed light and be happy , ask the universe for patience and brave attitude to vibrate higher and share positive vibe to those people. Hopefully that will help them to change ina long run their attituted

  • Kimmie Hannum

    Thank you, This was exactly what I needed to hear this morning. “Maybe there are people you know that constantly criticize others or criticize you in an effort to relieve themselves of their own feelings of unworthiness “~This quotes says the most to me. I feel, that I feel this far too often from peers, acquaintances, sometimes friends..I end up taking it far too personally, because I know that I don’t deserve to be treated in that manner…I need to learn to think of the hot potato. Thank you!

  • Andrea Bossenmeyer

    OMG i brilliantly FAILED at this today. Perfect timing.

     In Home Depot, I was waiting calmly for the guy to come and make my keys. I waited, I pressed the “send an employee to help me button”,  even a man that worked in another department went to find someone for me. It was my lunch break, and I’m going out of town tomorrow and I had a limited time, but I was calm, until this old man walked up. He saw i was waiting and the man told us, they just paged someone to come over. At the same as the key maker walks up, the old man shoves his key in the guys hand.

    The man’s wife says in spanish she was here first, which i understood. He ignored her, then the man that worked there said “Was she here first?”, he throws his hands up and acts stupid like he didn’t know. “How many do  you have?” I showed him my four keys. He said he only has 1 let’s get him right out of here.
    At the point where he acted stupid, I was ENRAGED. Why can’t he wait 5 min like I had to do? I waited for the man, he can wait for me. It doesn’t matter if i have 1 or 100, i get my turn and I was there first.

    I was enraged and I told both the old man and the man that worked there, This was REALLY RUDE. I’m on my lunch break, I was here first, I was waiting first, and I should have been helped first. This was RUDE!

    I felt better for speaking up for myself, but it didn’t have a very happy or positive outcome. I see through this perfectly timed blog, that there was a more enlightened path I could have walked.

    However standing up for yourself is huge, especially for me. So….

  • Thank you for posting your thoughts, Sandra. I have been working hard on this concept lately and also exploring Geshe Michael Roach’s teachings about the karmic seeds we plant with our actions. It changes the way I interact with everyone, whether they are kind and positive or harsh and negative. Now when some one is rude or judgmental around me I can instantly see suffering. Who wants to feel that way? Then I try to see where in my life I may have created that same type of negativity for some one else. After all, we have to be the change, right?

  • Excellent article  – a key point you raise here is that you did stand up to him and tell him firmly that he was not to speak to you that way.  There’s a fine line between being compassionate to another human condition while still standing up to protect your personal dignity and safety.   Setting the limit clearly of how he could treat you was very important.  Family abuse situations are often perpetuated when one party continues to forgive abusive behavior on the basis of the abusers suffering (he’s had a tough day … she’s under a lot of stress … there’s a lot going on for them).    It is a fine line but you walked it well in this story – thank you for sharing it.

  • jlorenz

    if there were more people like yourself, the world would be a so much better place…