Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You Hate. I Love.

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?



C. Beth said...

I do feel so loved. Maybe that's one of the biggest reasons I'm happy.

Sometimes when I encounter a grumpy cashier at a grocery store I have this desire to challenge myself and see if I can be nice enough for the cashier to smile at me. :) Maybe it's not really showing them love, but surely a smile ads a bit of happiness to someone's day?

Bill Lisleman said...

I don't think about it in that way often. I do think about and am thankful for what life has offered me and my family. You are right about your own internal feelings you hold about yourself.

Some people at certain times in their lives don't understand how to feel loved. Adolescents have the biggest problem with this.

Hope your approached worked.

Anonymous said...

I have founf myself in similar situations, Liz. Sometimes I have this strong urge just to hug that cranky person and in my mind I am thinking "Are you crazy?" but that is what my automatic thought process was in that moment.

I think it shows great empathy for the world when you look at or hear someone who spews such anger, hate, and rage and your heart actually wants to touch them...even when your brain is screaming to run the other direction.