I’ve realized one very particular on-going theme for me with this election: I’m attached to my hatred and frustration. And I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who is experiencing this.
As humans, we are attached to certain emotions because we believe they will create some sort of change in the outside world or because we subconsciously think our survival is dependent upon them. We believe that guilt will somehow elicit forgiveness, apathy will summon help, grief will procure sympathy, fear will ensure our existence, desire will get us what we want, anger will intimidate and control, and pride will result in self-esteem and respect.
These false beliefs are some of the biggest stumbling blocks to growth. As long as your mind thinks that it is benefiting from negativity in some form or another, it is not going to be too keen on the idea of letting the negativity go. (Because why would you?) At the bottom of it all, if you really subconsciously believe your survival is dependent on these emotions, huge amounts of fear will result just at the thought of transcending them. In your mind, you’ve equated negativity with life and, therefore, letting those emotions go with death. Literal death. (So if this post about letting go of hatred makes you feel afraid and angry, consider that that might be the reason.)
To add to it, we have social programming that sounds something like this:
Good people hate bad people. (Which, in your brain, means that if you don’t hate bad people, then you are a bad person.)
Being angry is a result of caring.(Meaning that if you aren’t mad, you don’t care, and if you don’t care, you are a bad person.)
If you aren’t angry with someone for their behavior, it means you condone their behavior.(And if you condone “bad” behavior, you are a bad person.)
With these subconscious beliefs as a foundation, how can you possibly even begin to consider letting go of hatred? Not only does is it the source of your survival, but it determines whether or not you are a GOOD PERSON.
I was sitting quietly on the couch this morning and watching my brain come up with excuses as to why I can’t let go of my grievances in regard to this election. None of them were valid. “If I let go of this, then nothing will change in the world.” “If I let go of this, other people will vote for that person because I wasn’t angry enough to deter them.”
Who will you be without your hatred? Who will you be without your fears and your opinions?
What I can tell you is that when you start letting go of hatred, what you formerly perceived as evil now becomes innocent. You start to see how people become the way they are, and compassion starts to emerge for them and the circumstances they must have gone through to become that way. You start to feel understanding about their particular brand of coping mechanisms. You know you’re letting go when your perception starts to shift.
Even now, I feel my mind going “BUT YOU HAVE TO JUDGE THE BAD PEOPLE! If you say that it is possible to no longer perceive evil, people will think you’re a bad person. They will think that you are ‘cool’ with terrorism and unfair treatment of women and Nazis and torture and horrible things. They will judge you. They will question your sanity.”
And maybe they will. I also I know in my heart that I do not condone those behaviors listed above. However, I refuse to believe that hatred is necessary in any way, shape or form in this world.
Negativity is detrimental to your health. It is detrimental to your relationships. It is detrimental to your sense of well-being. No matter how ‘justified’, no matter who or what it is directed towards, negativity is slowing degrading away at your life.
I promise you, your hatred will NOT save America. My frustration will not save it either, and it certainly isn’t going to make any particular candidate change their behavior. All it does is make us sick, as individuals and as a nation. And I don’t want to be sick anymore.
Loosening the ego’s hold on hatred can start here, if you would like it to. Just by realizing that you believe that you need hatred, that you’re afraid to let it go, that it’s based on false ideas, can be the springboard to awareness and freedom. All you need is a willingness to question it. Question it every time it comes up for you. The idea that letting go of hatred and anger is “losing” something is an insane idea, but we all believe it varying extents.
Once you’ve realized that your hatred is standing on shaky ground, you can start to reinforce what is actually waiting for you on the other side of it. Without hatred, you have the energy to actually ACT in a constructive manner. You can more clearly make decisions. You can take more facts into account. You have fewer blind spots. People are much more likely to take your insights and opinions into consideration, because they haven’t been put on the defensive by your emotions. You feel peaceful. Others feel peaceful around you. You become a source of power and grace in this world.
I challenge you (and I challenge me): Love the candidates (ALL OF THEM, NOT JUST ONE). Love it all. Let go of your resentments, your frustrations and your hatred. See what is waiting for you when you do.
Let America be great again.
- Emilia Ann