Today we ask that you look at the people who most upset you.
Who triggers you? Who pushes your buttons?
It does not have to be someone you know personally. Maybe it is a politician, or a criminal.
But this person arouses deep feelings of resentment, contempt, disgust, and even hatred.
Perhaps you consider yourself so enlightened that you do not feel this way about anyone. But most likely someone out there triggers you. Imagine someone who appears to be totally irredeemable, like Adolph Hitler.
It may also be someone very close to you, like a parent or family member or ex.
Who do you resent? Who triggers you?
Bring this person to mind.
It is okay to feel the feelings that arise when you think of this person. Really give yourself the space to feel those feelings.
It is natural to recoil from someone whose energy feels threatening, or malignant. It is your body’s defense mechanism to feel an aversion or disgust. You feel an aversion to sticking your finger in a live electrical socket. You feel disgust around rotten food. This is not “made up.” It your body’s way or protecting you from harm.
Unfortunately, when it comes to people, the mind can be conditioned to feel aversion and disgust for individuals who do not pose a real threat. Such is the basis for racism, discrimination, and all manner of abuse, slavery, and genocide.
So it is important, with people, to discern whether or not they pose a real, immediate threat to one’s safety, or merely an imagined threat.
Some individuals are violent, insane, abusive, and destructive, it is true. Adolph Hitler was such a person.
However, the people Hitler despised, for whom he felt genocidal hatred, were not a real threat. They were an imagined threat.
Sometimes we believe stories about the people we despise, that are not absolutely true. There may be some basis to the belief. But usually such stories are based on limited information, misinformation, and misunderstanding. Hatred arises out of ignorance.
Again, this is not about condoning destructive behavior.
The key is to watch the ways in which one judges or dehumanizes those who arouse disgust, and resentment.
For this is a slippery slope. To hate someone who holds different political or religious beliefs, even if those beliefs are ignorant and destructive, is in a very real sense showing that you are fundamentally the same as the person you are harshly judging.
Often people believe that it is up to them to punish wrongdoers, and to uphold justice in the world.
Most of the time, this is a misuse of energy. Most of the time, it causes far more harm than good.
Yes, the violent and insane should be prevented from causing harm.
But it is important to discern the reality of the threat someone poses. Most criminal justice systems cause far more harm than good, both by exposing people who are basically harmless to punitive measures, and by punishing the insane and ignorant in ways that only reinforce their violent tendencies.
Can you cultivate a compassionate heart for the people who trigger your loathing and disgust?
Even if you have every reason to hate them, even if they have directly harmed you in the past, can you still perceive their basic humanity?
Many humans are simply insane. But insanity is rightly perceived as an illness, not a moral failing.
If you were born, say, in the pre-Civil War American South, and your parents owned slaves, most likely you would have believed that slavery was just and that black people were more like animals than humans.
This was a form of collective insanity. If you had been conditioned from early childhood to believe such things, you would have been “infected” with this disease. Beliefs behave exactly like viruses.
There is a vast difference between labeling someone “sick” as opposed to “evil.”
When one views an ignorant, destructive person as “sick,” there is compassion, and a desire for healing. Precautions must be taken, yes. But there is no dehumanization, as occurs the moment you judge a person as “evil” or “morally defective.”
Have compassion for the sick. Behaving abusively and destructively toward the self, or others, is nothing but a sure sign of illness.
Take precautions around a sick person. If you know someone behaves destructively and abusively, do not believe the things they say. Do not subscribe to the false beliefs that cause destructive and abusive behavior. Do not absorb false belief viruses. Do not catch their illness.
But it is not your place to condemn them.
Here is something to understand:
Whatever you stand in opposition to, energetically is linked to you.
The stronger the opposition, the stronger the link.
If you do not like a certain energy in your life, then the last thing you want to do is hate and oppose it.
Why? Because when you let go of your opposition to what you dislike, you will actually experience less of what you dislike.
Your hatred and opposition is actually keeping that unpleasant energy stuck in your life.
That is why it can be argued that cultivating compassion for the people you dislike is purely selfish. It actually releases you from your energetic bondage to those people.