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Last Sunday Oprah asked me where I see “God”. And I told her I see God everywhere, but these days I’m trying to see “God” in the haters. That is to say, I’m trying to see The Divine in those who do not express pleasant or loving thoughts or actions towards me.
I heard Marianne Williamson say the other day that we are as close to “God” as the person we like the least. That took me by surprise.
But I thought about it. You know, it’s easy to love people who love you. It’s easy to love people who are kind to you. It’s easy to love people who are friendly to you. But can we love those that aren’t?
I’m not saying that we have to “like them”, but can we love them?
I encounter this almost every day at TDL. Inevitably there is going to be someone who disagrees with what I have to say, or doesn’t like something I said, or something I say is in conflict with what they believe. And sometimes they express it to me in a way that is loving and sometimes it’s in an “attack”.
And when I feel that attack, when I feel that trigger, I simply stop and pray, “Please show me how to love this.”
And it’s amazing. Because what I’ve come to notice is that many times when “haters” say something and I react or want to defend myself is because there is an inner hater that also believes them. Or an inner fraud. Or an inner voice of fear or doubt that attaches to what the hater says and then says to me “See, I TOLD YOU! You SUCK!”
And when I learn to love this part of myself and not identify with it, then the outer trigger goes away. I no longer need to take what the other person is saying personally because I am not longer identified with the inner voice that agrees with them. And this is one of the great gifts of those who don’t disagree with us or hate us. They are actually showing us how to love ourselves and themselves even more. Judgmental people judge you. Righteous people are righteous towards you. Guilty people try to guilt you. And it’s their inner judge, righteousness and guilt that tries to latch on to you.
And then your inner judge, righteousness and guilty party responds. But when we can let that go, we no longer identify with those voices and love ourselves anyway, we let ourselves off the hook. And then instead of being mad or defensive we see the other person caught in the prison of their own judgment, righteousness or guilt and now we can be even more loving towards them and show compassion rather than triggered defensiveness.
And whether they admit it or not, our defenselessness will send an energetic signal to them and our presence (rather than our words) will communicate. And in that way we bring more love to the haters and ourselves!
Can you do this today?
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