Hate is taught. Love is our true nature.
Awhile ago, my son asked me what “gay” meant. I didn’t know what prompted him asking. I also thought he knew – we have family and friends who are gay. He has met their partners before. But I decided to answer his question. So I told my son that it’s when a guy and a guy love each other and want to get married (that was his context for this kind of “romantic” love). Or a woman and a woman love each other and want to get married.
I also wanted to tell him that as he got older, he might hear people having opinions about a man and a man being together or a woman and a woman being together. He may hear people say they don’t want a man and a man to love each other or a woman and a woman to love each other.
I’ll never forget what happened next. From across the table, my son’s jaw dropped. He said, “Mom! In my whole eight years of existence I have never ever heard that someone doesn’t want two people to love each other!!!! That is just crazy!!!!”
From his eight-year old perspective, what he saw between two people – a man and a man or a woman and a woman – is love.
From his perspective, what he saw as “CRAZY” is someone preventing someone else from loving another person.
Hate is taught. Love is our true nature.
Love is our essence. It’s who we are. It’s “what” we “come from.” It’s what we return to at the end of life.
Hate has to be taught. It is not our true nature.
There is so much hatred in our world today: Syrian refugees fleeing their worn-torn country, our gay brothers and sisters being shot and killed at the Pulse night club, Philando Castile being killed while his girlfriend and daughter were in the car, Alton Sterling killed at the convenience store, and Police officers killed in Dallas.
And I’m just going to say it: it starts at home. It starts at “home” in our own hearts and families. It starts with the family values and beliefs we were born into. It starts with how we treat ourselves.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, I’m probably preaching to the choir.
But each of us still has work to do – for our own selves, for our families, and for our world.
Where do you start?
Love or hate.
It starts closer to home. Like – with your OWN heart, body, mind and spirit.
The hate “out there” is a reflection of the hate “in here.” Inside each of us.
Here are three deeply healing and compassionate ways to end the hate and return to love – starting with your own self: “Love all the parts”, “Go gently,” and “Cultivate Compassion.”
1. Love all the parts.
It starts with how see your own self. I’m now 42 and have had babies. Things aren’t as perky or “young” as they used to be. I’m aging. You, too?! How do you regard the bulges on your waist, your “widening seat”, your breasts beginning to sag? Yes, start with those physical parts we tend to not like so much and are constantly trying to change and “perfect.”
What if you decided to love them? Yes, that’s right – love them. What if you saw those parts as sacred space that have carried and birthed and fed babies? What if you ended the war with your own body? How do you think this would impact things in your life, your relationships?
And how about those shameful parts of yourself? The parts of yourself you are disgusted with? The addictions you have?
“Did you say LOVE THEM, Lisa?”
Yes. Love them.
It’s love that heals. It’s love that remembers “integration” and “wholeness.” Not hate. Hate divides.
Yes, go on and love yourself so completely, with so much regard and kindness, and see what happens in your home, between you and your partner, between you and your children…and in our world.
2. Go gently.
Clients in Compassion Coaching and Psychotherapy start to become aware of how harsh they have been toward themselves AND how harshness has not healed them. It hasn’t healed their anger, addiction, fears, rage, sadness or grief. Trying to “toughen up” or “keep a lid on it” or “fight it off” haven’t brought them any closer to contentment.
What heals? Gentleness.
Yes, I know. It’s super radical. It’s counter cultural. But try it. Try to “go gently” for just one day and see what happens – within you and around you – at home and work.
3. Cultivate Compassion.
Just the other day, a client was beginning to tap into a sadness that is within them, and she unconsciously brought her hand to her cheek, cupping her cheek in her hand. She wasn’t even aware that she was doing this, but she also didn’t “override” in this innate compassionate response. Our bodies KNOW how to respond to suffering. They know how to offer comfort and compassion. But often we stop what our bodies instinctively know what to do. We get in the way of this innate compassionate response.
Why don’t we allow bodies to instinctively offer compassion when we are suffering?
Oh so many reasons. We’ve learned over time to “override” the compassionate response – maybe it looks weird, we wonder what others will think, we’ve been taught to “not do that”, or maybe there never really was the sacred space to be vulnerable, be seen, and be cared for. Maybe we are living at too fast of a pace to pause and BE that sacred space.
Whatever it is – it’s time. It’s time to give ourselves the sacred space to tend to what hurts – within us and around us – with compassion.
Our world needs each of us to start closer to home. Love all the parts. Go gently. Cultivate compassion. If we all practiced this for one hour, one day, one week – imagine what would happen in our world…
Dear Readers, Clients, Friends, and Customers, I’ll be taking a break from this blog to be with my family until the second week of August. The Shop will be closed as well (from Monday, July 18 – Friday, August 5). If you are thinking about a poetic wrist wrap for your children as a “daily touchstone” as they return to school in August, you could order this weekend and I’ll get them out on Monday morning. If you are considering Compassion Coaching, I’ll be opening up five new spots for clients (wherever you are in the world) starting mid-August. To claim your spot, please purchase an Initial Compassion Coaching Session and I’ll get back to you on August 8 with paperwork and look at scheduling for the latter part of August. Blessings to you and your dear ones.Blessings,