Recently, I heard a story about a man who has been going through some hard times. I don't think the hard times matter- we've all faced tough times in life through divorce, losing a loved one, unemployment, and more. What I think matters is how you get through those hard times.
Not just the getting through, but the attitude you have while getting through.
For the most part, I think that most hard times generally just magnify our character. It's like alcohol- if you're an angry person, you're an angrier drunk. If you are someone who lives your life filled with hate and anger, that is going to brew up even more when you are going through hard times.
Most everyone knows someone like that... no matter what you say to them, they turn it into a negative. You give a compliment and they use it to remind you- and themselves- of how bad life is for them.
This post isn't about living your life filled with love vs hate, though.
Instead, I had an interesting experience in regards to interacting with someone filled with anger and hate and despair.
Generally, when I hear about someone who acts on anger against others, I get angry. Fred Phelps comes to mind- the guy who gets his followers all riled up and they protest outside of the funerals of soldiers as an act to speak out against homosexuality. That guy- gets me angry in some deep ways. He uses his hate and anger to hurt others.
But I came across someone who is living with despair and hurt and anger and isn't intending to hurt others but those things inside are like a cancer, eating up the healthy and happy and content parts of him that I hope do reside there. And even though I knew that he had said things that left me angry... even though I'd heard for myself the negativity...
I had a very different reaction and it took me by surprise.
Usually, I want to avoid those people. Usually, I have pretty negative thoughts about someone that I see as choosing to be hate filled.
This time... even though he used words that make me cringe and make my heart hurt, even though he gave solid evidence that he is filled with darkness inside... something was different inside me.
I want this person to feel love from the inside out. I wonder if he's ever really felt that before. Because it's the best and most freeing and fantastic feeling in the entire world- knowing you are loved in ways that are indescribable. Loving yourself, accepting love from a higher power, being loved by friends and family around you. Accepting love in its purest form.
How about you? Do you feel loved?