Love is the Answer

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.

cry for helpThe 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?

  1. Loveability book coverAn 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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About Alice Chan, Ph.D.

Dr. Alice Chan is passionate about developing conscious leaders and organizations. Her path to serve her life purpose has included being an award-winning Cornell professor and a leader in the corporate world for nearly 15 years. She’s the author of the book, REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life, and creator of the program, 30 Days to Living Your Best Life. All content on this blog and website is her own, not the opinions of her employer.

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6 comments
AshutoshKasera
AshutoshKasera

Hi Alice,

A wonderful post talking about the love of humanity and how badly we all need it to put the rambling pieces of our world. Looking around, we can realise that most of the things are due to the lack of love for humanity and it seems, we as humans have forgotten to love each other as humans.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the topic. I hope and wish that people think about it and start practicing with the people around them and we can work together to make this world a better place to live.

Hiten Vyas
Hiten Vyas

Hi Alice,

What a brilliant post this is, my friend! I definitely believe love is the answer to any kind of behaviour we or others may display. I could really resonate with what you said about how other people's unkindness towards us is a reflection of inner turmoil they are going through. I have been experimenting recently with reacting with love to certain individuals who have been less than kind to me. I've been able to do this by looking beyond the external behaviour and understanding there is root cause, where the ego is feeling threatened.

Have a great week, Alice!

Lori
Lori

Alice, as I was reading this I kept thinking of an old quote I read years ago - "What shows up is the answer. Remember what the question was." If love is the answer, I guess it doesn't matter what the question was. One answer makes it easy. if anything can be easy ;-)

Lori

Latest blog post: Are You Awake?

DrAliceChan
DrAliceChan moderator

@AshutoshKasera Well said! Indeed, we have forgotten how to love each other, and that's ultimately because we've forgotten how to love ourselves. And that's rooted in the fear of not being loveable. Everything begins with us. We can't give away what we don't have. If we feel no love for ourselves, the "love" we think we're giving to others really isn't love, but obligation or what's social desirable. Thank you very much for visiting and sharing your beautiful comment.

DrAliceChan
DrAliceChan moderator

@Hiten Vyas Many thanks for sharing your own recent experimentation, Hiten. Isn't it enlightening when we pause to notice which part of us is in charge? Wishing you a great week as well, my friend!

DrAliceChan
DrAliceChan moderator

@Lori Hi Lori, yes, if we can remember that love is the answer to everything, life would be easy indeed. But, I think we often forget that. The moments that I do when things are objectively tough, it does make it easier. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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