To clarify, love isn’t a magic wand that prevents misunderstandings, ceases all wars and dissolves emotional roadblocks. Personal baggage is a part of the process of living in an unfair world, one in which we are the results of toxic parenting styles we didn’t choose, that unite us in blood to personalities often challenging our own.
It is with regret that we are faced with our own flaws, which can be burdensome and time consuming to heal. We first must acknowledge the hate and resentment brewing inside us. Most of us have experienced denial at some point in our lives, keeping ourselves busy enough to numb our pain. Eventually, the unresolved black mass rotting like spoiled food in our soul spews forth. It launches out of us as beastly anger that wounds loved ones. Unresolved pain often turns into hatred and when we don’t see our own flaws we project our hurt onto others.
Have you ever said some horrible things to someone, accused them of a list of things they’ve done to you, only to later examine your words and find that everything you said is actually a reflection of you and things you’ve done? It’s the most enlightening moment when you can finally say, “I wasn’t talking about them. I wasn’t pointing out their imperfections. Everything I just listed, all of the ugly I recited is really everything I see in myself. I was talking about me!”
When you can face your own imperfections, you stop projecting them onto others. You realize that the one person over here or that person over there no longer make you angry. You find yourself realizing that all the anger you had towards these people in your life was really a reflection of your inner turmoil.
It had nothing to do with “them” all along. It was always about you.
And suddenly you find yourself on the receiving end of hatred that is vomited forth all over your heart, melting your energy. Your mind’s muscle memory wants to kick in, and that old angry spirit expects you to fight hatred with hatred, anger with anger, vengeance with vengeance, lies with more lies. This is where we all have the opportunity to pause in that moment and silence that part of our brain that wants to react. This is when we can blanket the hatred with loving, calculated responses.
Successful customer service personnel must master this. Employees dealing with difficult personalities must master this. Doctors and nurses dealing with complaining, angry patients in pain must master this. So do mothers and fathers, as one day must daughters and sons in caring for challenging, angry, senile and dying parents.
Wounded people sabotage themselves when shown love, because subconsciously they feel that they don’t deserve it. Often, they recreate hostile situations because the neural pathways in their brain are wired to remember this. It is “normal” to them and the only thing they know. Those that love a wounded soul will often be the first to be targeted and to receive the bulk of wrath thrown at them. This is because close loved ones such as siblings, parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, dear friends and significant others can knowingly or unknowingly trigger the pain. One doesn’t even need to say anything wrong in order to be a trigger for someone. Siblings have a pecking order from oldest to youngest; the way siblings are raised can influence toxic relationships with one another. As adults it is much harder to undo a terrible childhood, which can scar the soul permanently.
We do have a choice as adults to dispose once and for all any toxic residue in our bloodline that can lead to a wretched, cyclical pattern. We do have a choice as adults to escape from the bondage and to throw away the baggage of our past. We do have a choice as adults to revoke the blueprints that were taught to us, the negative moral influences that didn’t protect us as children but tainted our innocence. We do have a choice as adults to stop, once and for all, the negative trends passed on from generation to generation. We do have a choice to say, “This stops with me. I will be better and my children will be better. We will not continue this toxic cycle. It’s stops with me. It stops right now!”
We do have a choice as adults to claim our right to be happy, to welcome love, and to ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness begins with ourselves and then we must forgive our parents, siblings, exes, and our enemies. It is not without difficulty. Forgiveness is not a light demand, but it’s a necessity in order for us to move forward without the chains of anger and resentment roped around our necks. Without forgiveness, we sink into an endless battle of proving others wrong and making ourselves right, at least in our own heads. We fight with everyone, find flaws in them, pick fights, recreate toxic environments that are abusive because it’s what we’ve become accustomed to. And until we forgive, we can’t quite let go of the anger and pain that fuels the spirit that feeds on conflict, strife, and hostility.
We do have a choice as adults to respond with love when attacked. We do have a choice as adults to set an example, not just for ourselves but for our families and our children that are watching. Some might be waiting for us to make a wrong move, to fall back into negative patterns, to react as the “old you.” But, you and I have a choice on how we react. Will you choose hatred and anger or will you choose love?
The Bottom Line:
Out of love we can love ourselves enough to remove ourselves from abusive situations. Out of love for ourselves, we can choose to not be a doormat. Out of love for others, we can choose how we respond to accusations and hateful words. Sometimes, the first step really begins with us. It might take months or years to master, but once we love ourselves and forgive ourselves we are free to love without restraint or conditions. We can walk away peacefully and not return anger with anger. We can walk away satisfied that we responded towards an angry and wounded soul with love. We can go to sleep at night soundly, knowing that we did the right thing.
The right thing isn’t always easy to do. Choosing “the high road” means having mastery of our own emotions and not allowing others to trigger us. Once we’ve conquered our personal pains and have healed, we stop blaming everyone else for our own misery and take accountability for our own shortcomings. There is great freedom in forgiveness and great freedom in introspection and discovering that we alone have the power to change ourselves. Because the flaws we find in others are often unresolved issues within us.
Once we discover what needs to be changed, we no longer live in denial and we’re that much closer to shedding our past skin. If we can succeed at ditching damaging trauma we’ve experienced by forgiving others and moving on, we can finally learn to live conflict-free in peace and love rather than in strife and anger. No, love isn’t a magic wand. Rather it’s a powerful solution and a better way to live.
Live in ♥
not in Hate.