Every act of unkindness is a cry for help, a cry for love. They don’t know what they’re doing. Love them without needing to condone their behavior. See the truth of who they are. Send them love.
The above came as part of the guidance I received this past Sunday morning, when I did my weekly visioning meditation. As if the Universe wanted to reinforce the message, I found the following quote in my inbox as one of the thoughts of the day emails to which I subscribe:
Rather than disliking someone who insults you, feel mercy and have pure and positive thoughts for them. ~Anubhuti Meditation and Retreat Centre
It’s clear that the message for me to convey in my blog this week is one of Love. More specifically, in the face of challenging behavior on the part of others, we’re reminded to see them through the eyes of Compassion and Kindness, derivatives of Love. When someone acts unkind to us in any way, it ultimately reflects their internal state of turmoil and lack of self-acceptance and self-love, even if they may be unconscious of these feelings that become projected onto others through their hurtful actions.
Love is the Answer
In Dr. Robert Holden’s latest book, Loveability, he details the root of basically all human problems—the fear of not being loveable. This fear shows up as not being enough (e.g., good enough, educated enough, attractive enough, smart enough, etc.), needing to be perfect, self-sacrificing, outstanding/remarkable, always happy, always melancholic (to get attention), independent, rebellious, a genius, or a peace-maker.
Regardless of how anyone’s fear of being unloveable manifests itself, it’s not our Truth but instead comes from ego. And it’s ego’s job to provide protection and cover for that fear. Sometimes, that protection translates into preemptive strikes that turn into unkindness and even violence toward others.
Let’s consider some scenarios and attempt to step into the shoes of the perpetrator of unkindness. What fear do you think they could be harboring, even if unknowingly?
- An intimidating colleague/client who seems to have you in the defensive right from the start—Is it at all possible that, if they didn’t strike preemptively to keep you in the defensive, they themselves might be vulnerable to being attacked? It’s irrelevant whether you’d actually attack them; it’s their fear that you might.
- A non-responsive or inconsistent friend who’s unnervingly hot and cold—Is it at all possible that they worried, if they let you get too close to them, you’d see how flawed and unloveable they are? But they don’t want you to abandon them altogether, so they pour on the charm or become super-helpful when they sense you pulling away.
- A critical boss/parent who’s impossible to please and who seems incapable of offering words of affirmation or praise—Is it possible that they were never praised, and feared at their core that they’re worthless? Not only was the behavior of encouragement and praise never modeled for them, if they could keep the bar always beyond your reach, you’d never get “there” to see how scared they are that you’ll see how worthless they feel.
The above are just a few of infinite scenarios. I’m sure you have your own stories of real experiences—present or past—that you could share. The point is that, if we could pause for a moment and imagine being that person extending unkindness to us, we might be able to catch a glimpse of their fear, their self-hate, the lack of love within that’s ultimately responsible for their unkindness.
If each of us were to be honest and recall a time when we ourselves were less than kind, we could trace our behavior to a less than loving inner state, perhaps we were sick or over-stretched in some way. When our inner resources are depleted for any reason that momentarily cut off our connection to the infinite source of Love within, we’re vulnerable to letting fear-based ego take the steering wheel—and drive us down a lane of which we aren’t proud.
Choose Love, Not Fear
Love and fear can’t both be driving simultaneously. The key, then, is for us to be grounded in Love as often as we can. When we realize we’ve slipped into fear and let ego drive, we can extend kindness and compassion to ourselves to return to love as our grounding. By extension, when we find ourselves hurt by other’s words or behavior, we can be mindful of extending that same kindness and compassion toward them, without ever having to condone what they did, or to sidestep any necessary healing and forgiveness we may need to experience. Remember that no loving person would be capable of inflicting harm on another. It’s their self-hating, freaked-out ego that has stuffed their true nature of Love. If and when you’re ready, see the Truth of who they are, the part of them that’s inherently worthy—and is Love.
Love is the answer to unkindness. Because Love is the antidote to fear—and the behavior it drives.
Over to you: What do you think is the root of unkindness? Do you think that someone who has been unkind to you ultimately deserves to be loved, whether or not you’re ready to see them that way right now? Is Love the answer?
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