Why You Should Learn to Love Your Haters

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” -Winston Churchill

The truth about haters:

  • If you are doing something right, they are hating on your for that. The more haters you have, the more you are doing right.
  • If they are hating on you, they are spending their days thinking about you and following every thing you do. That means they are admirers. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it is indifference.
  • If someone can hate on you, they are obviously someone who is in pain or experiencing some type of hurt.
  • Rebelling against your haters imprisons you and you are as wrapped up in their thoughts of you.
  • It’s not personal. Let it go. Send them love and live your life.

As a reformed “people-pleaser”, I used to live by public opinion. If anyone had a problem with me, I either try to figure how to balance their happiness with my own or abandon my happiness for theirs. This led to me suffering in silence as the happiness was sucked out of me. There is no fun in living beneath your abilities to make others feel better.

The other option, which many take, is to become angry at the haters. You live your life in rebellion of the people who are hating on you. In the process, you becomes as hateful as the very people you are rebelling against. Rebellion is a prison. In not trying to please others, you are acutely aware of and constantly focusing on not meeting their needs. It also turns you bitter in the process.

So, if you can’t give in to them and you can’t rebel against them. What can you do? You can not care what they think. The only way to do that is to become self-approved. If you can develop faith in yourself and what you are doing, then you won’t be affected by the haters in your life. This can make for a more pleasant life, but I am offering you that there is an even higher step.

I’ve told more than one person that I pray for my enemies. Every time I say it, people say, “oh”, with a blank stare as if the thought had never occurred to them. It doesn’t surprise me because there was a time when I would never have thought of it either. Before my soul work, I would see any betrayal as something deeply personal. I had all these insecurities within me that were triggered when someone disappointed me so I immediately saw an act of betrayal as confirmation that my insecurities were true. See, this person left me so I’m not good enough.

Now, I see that in these types situations that there are two people in pain. Generally, a betrayal is less about you and more about the other person. If you find yourself in a situation where someone is attacking you for no clear reason, it has more to do with something in them that you remind them of. If you’re successful and they never pursued their dream, they attack you to hide their insecurity. If you are in a good relationship or single and they are in a stale, loveless relationship, they may try to make you feel bad. There are a many reasons why someone may fixate on you and try to project their insecurities and failures on you. But, you have two choices in that situation. You can see it as nothing personal against you. If you lash out in response, you should look at your own fears and insecurities and figure out why. It’s an opportunity to heal something within you.

Don’t feel bad if it takes some time before you can pray for your enemies. If not, let this post serve as a way to understand their motivation and pull yourself from the toxicity.  There will never come a time when everyone will love everything that you do. The only question that matters is whether you love what you are doing. If you do, then there is no one or nothing else to worry about. Send your love to your haters and keep giving them more things to hate on you for.

“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”- Oscar Wilde

How to Overcome Fear? It’s Not the Way You Think

Lately, I’ve thought a lot about fear. Fear prevented me from writing this blog for a while. I let it convince me that I had nothing to share or say. Luckily, I overcame it. I want to share how I did it, but it’s probably not the way you think.

We are not born with fear. As a child, you walk around touching and exploring things with no real sense of danger. As you rush to reach for the hot stove to explore, usually an adult, screams and then instills the fear in you. There is nothing wrong with it. A healthy amount of fear prevents you from getting hurt. But, too much fear can paralyze you and prevent you from living.

I used to be fearless. I used to think there were no limits to what I could do. I still have it in doses. If I go to an amusement park, I want to ride the highest, fastest and most fearful looking roller-coaster. I have to conquer it. It feels like a challenge to me. I used to live my life that way. Somewhere along the line, with more and more people telling me what I couldn’t do, I adopted fear. As I faced more disappointments in my life, I started to believe them and that fear morphed into anxiety. I learned not to touch the stove.

How can someone who views the tallest, fastest, scariest looking roller-coaster as an exhilarating thrill, also be the same person who cowers in the corner at the thought of potential rejection from life? It seems odd. Once I thought about it, I realized that a roller-coaster at least offered the illusion of safety.When I sit in the seat with the heavy weight of the bar against my chest and my legs, I am lulled into a false belief that I am protected. Life offers a ride in a similar seat with no straps, no bars and no restraints. There is no illusion of safety.

However, if you allow fear to dictate your life, you won’t live at all. Fear is seductive. It convinces you that it knows best and that courage is wrong. It tells you comfort and security is the way to avoid problems in your life. The reality is there is no guarantee of comfort and no such thing as security. Life runs in cycles. It’s ever-changing and there are ups and downs, just like that roller-coaster. You are riding it whether you want to or not.

So, how you overcome your fears?

I read a passage from the book “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron. It talks about a young warrior who is told that she has to do battle with fear. She doesn’t want to, but she is commanded to and instructed how to beat fear. They both arrive for their fight with weapons drawn.

“The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into battle with you?” Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?” Fear replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.” In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. ”- Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

The way to overcome fear is to realize it is a friend. It’s not here to harm you. It might be misguided and overblown, but, sometimes, it does have good information. The best thing to do is listen to it. Give it an audience. Sit with it. Then, you have to figure out if it is rational or irrational. If it’s rational, heed the information. If it’s irrational, thank it (as you would anyone who gives you bad advice) and discard it.

You can’t fight fear. It’s apart of life and it will always be there. You have to be able to walk with it if you want to conquer it. It’s just like that roller-coaster. Faith is holding you with invisible straps and bars.  The ride is crazy, but it’s not as terrifying as you think it will be.  And most of all, enjoy the ride.

 

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What Could Be Standing Between You and Lasting Change

“If you want to shrink something, you must first allow it to expand. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish. If you want to take something, you must first allow it to be given. This is called the subtle perception, of the way things are.”Tao Te Ching

The first step to changing anything in your life is awareness and the second is acceptance. I think acceptance is the major stumbling block for many of us. But, you can’t get on the road to change without turning onto the road to acceptance first. Carl Jung said, “What you resist persists.” So, when we are aware of something, but we resist it, we are telling it to stick around instead of healing it.

When I was younger, we had books like, “The Magic Eye“, and “Where’s Waldo?“. They were full of visionary puzzles. Each puzzle required you to stare at it until you were able to show the focus of the picture. In, “Where’s Waldo”, you were searching a broader picture  of people to find one man. You could search a scene for hours before that little man was revealed in his striped shirt. The “Magic Eye” was an optical illusion which if you stared at the same picture, suddenly a hidden object would jump out.

The funny thing with both was that there was a time when you could not see the object you were trying to find. You simply couldn’t see it, no matter how hard you tried. It felt frustrating. I can remember yelling, “It’s not here. They lied. It’s not here.” And then suddenly, a switch would happen and suddenly you could see something you never saw before. With those books, once you saw the object, you couldn’t un-see it. Every time I picked up a Waldo puzzle that I had already looked at, my eye went straight to where Waldo was. If I looked at the Magic Eye, the hidden object jumped out at me. I would say that is an example of awareness. You can suddenly see what was hidden before. You are aware that it exists.

I think we are constantly given information that helps us become aware of who we are and how we are affecting our relationships. Sometimes, it is our partners in the relationships who show the parts of ourselves that we are unable to see. If we try to avoid seeing it by ignoring it, it jumps into other situations and tries to show itself in those instances. There is no way to un-see it. It’s ever-present and begging for your attention.

Let me give you an example: Let’s say your partner says to you, “Instead of telling me you don’t want to do something, you procrastinate until I get annoyed and do it myself.”  You tell yourself that he’s wrong. He’s just being impatient. You do it in your time and who is he to tell you when it needs to be done? If he would just wait, you would get it done.

You go about your day and you tackle some things that you’ve been asked to do by several different people in your life. You quickly get the things that you like out-of-the-way, but you find yourself putting off the things that you don’t really want to do. Suddenly, you start to think that maybe your partner is right. In that moment you have a choice, you can tell yourself that it’s nothing wrong with it and continue to frustrate others. The other option is to acknowledge it and recognize why it could be an issue or a source for frustration.

When we realize that someone has a negative view of us, our instinct is to shun it or shame it. If it’s something we don’t like about ourselves, we can project it on to the other person so we can reject it. As long as we do any of these things, we can’t change. Instead, we are in denial. But, we are constantly presented with opportunities to heal it by sending it love. You can accept that it is apart of yourself that is getting in the way of the experience of love you want for your life. You can embrace it. Once you accept it and how it affects others, you can start to change it. You can start to find ways to find a balance that can benefit your relationships. In a relationship, there is no room for neither self-sacrifice  nor selfishness. We are constantly seeking a balance that allows us to love ourselves and love others. Once you are aware and you acknowledge your challenges, you are halfway there.