No, I’m not talking about extreme lawless measures taken during times of high gas prices and rationing. Rather, who is stealing your love and fueling your hate? What has happened to you in your past that has hindered your ability to love and pushed you to hate? Granted, it’s pretty much the same question but it is a very important one. Very few people have the self awareness or inner confidence to actually admit to either but in an effort to better ourselves shall we at least allow that we could do better? Yes, let’s allow.
Let’s take a look at our world and what opportunities to love we are missing but first or at least primarily let’s look at what fuels our hate (disdain/resent/insert negative emotion here). I will tell you that there are hurts and voids in our past that are, in stealth like fashion, pushing our attitude today toward hate/anger/and disdain.
Some examples and scenarios.
We have an all Harbaugh Super Bowl. People in Pittsburgh are really struggling with having to choose between Baltimore and San Francisco. “I can’t root for that murdering hypocrite Ray Lewis” many say (Ray Lewis plead guilty in 2000 to obstruction of justice when two friends were charged with the stabbing murder of two men). I would ask, “Who did something to you as a child that seemed to get away with it? What did you do that you didn’t get away with that to this day you feel the punishment did not fit the crime?” San Francisco has 5 Super Bowl rings and if they win will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers record of 6. “We can’t have that!” you say. I would ask, “Who didn’t make you feel special as a child? What happened that made you feel such an allegiance to a sports team that simply bears the name of a town in which you live? Why don’t you realize you are so incredibly important and of value that your team should be of a much lesser significance?” Both teams are lead by a coach that is incredibly confident, driven and often thought of an arrogant jerk. You hate them. “Who bullied you? What teacher/coach/even parent did you have that drove their will down your throat whether you agreed or not?”
Lance Armstrong cheated and lied and should be hung from the nearest tree. I would ask, “Who lied to you and hurt you? Who was thought of in great light in your world that you knew wasn’t what everyone believed them to be?”
Manti Te’o was the victim of, involved with, part of (whatever) an unbelievably manipulative hoax that grabbed national attention. Many have responded with great disdain/derision/ and ridicule of Manti. Most people have taken to just burying the guy. I would ask, “Who duped you? What lie did you buy into? Who took advantage of you? ”
Let’s take a look at a more mundane example. Somebody cuts in front of you in traffic. You are filled with rage and stick your fist through your horn. “What happened to you that was well beyond your control? What came out of nowhere and changed your life? Who put their wants/needs/desires well ahead of yours?”
Do you see where I’m going with this? Don’t dismiss it as touchy feely crap. Don’t imagine me holding you up and saying, “It’s not your fault” over and over again (it isn’t by the way). What really bothers you (too much in many cases) is rarely what is happening before your eyes. It started long ago and is embedded in, you guessed it, hurts that weren’t grieved and comforted. Look at what it costs you.
First and foremost you are not able to appreciate, marvel, and yes, love what is happening before your very eyes. You are not the least bit interested in the Super Bowl (no big loss really). However, you are missing some great stories. Ray Lewis has overcome a horrific mistake and turned his life around (have you ever made a mistake, even a huge one?) and is now thought of as one of sports greatest leaders by those who know him best. The coaches are two brothers going against each other ready to achieve their lifetime goal. These men grew up dreaming of this day (sharing a bedroom until they were 18). How great is it that they get the chance to realize their dream? What an amazing time this must be for their parents. How often we tear down (with reason) parents today and yet here are two that raised two boys who are at the pinnacle of their profession. Lance Armstrong did great things for cancer research. What is it that you can do for something of which you are so very passionate? Are you even passionate about anything? Rather, have you given up your passion or the possibility of having one? Manti Te’o is a symbol of a generation of people who communicate so differently and almost always less personally. Who needs you to communicate more clearly with them? You are quick to anger, quick to lash out, quick to cut ties and label others. Where is the healing? Where is the desire to grow deeper with one another?
I am only saying this because negative emotions like these take so much from the joy of life. Further, these unresolved hurts stain and sabotage so much good that life has to offer. I don’t judge you, I want you to be free from the anchor of unresolved hurts and pains.
It may seem simple and harmless. It could be. However, far too often it is a very applicable symptom of wounds that have been ignored for far too long. These wounds have grown infected and you are left looking to begrudge things rather than celebrate and emulate another’s achievement. Take a look at the pains through your life, grieve them, have someone comfort you, be open/honest/and vulnerable. Then, watch your negative emotions diminish and your positive ones grow.