- Written by Lucy Shaw
Dear Lucy: I have read your “love” articles. My question is about hate. It seems to me that hate is the real problem today.
Dear Lucy: I have read your “love” articles. My question is about hate. It seems to me that hate is the real problem today. There is hate at a national level. People seem to think its OK to hate the President openly and forcefully. When I open up my email every day, there is nothing but news where people are hating on each other. Then at the local level it’s the same thing. People still have wars because of hatred. All of the hate can make you “hate” to get up every day!
Dear MP: I chose to write about love this month because it’s the month of Valentines Day and because, like you, I am aware of what seems like a rampant focus on hatred. However, I still genuinely LOVE getting up every day and have no intention of choosing to allow external circumstances to steal my joy, ever!
In my book, “Be Not Anxious,” I give hate a whole chapter. Why? Because it is the opposite of love and we live on a planet where opposites serve a purpose. We would not know cold if there was no hot. We would not know success without some failure or appreciate the light without the dark. The opposites often are needed to force mankind to move from a place of mediocrity or plain dullness and complacency into the territory of excellence. The most honest of recovered drug addicts will tell you that without the profound pain of lost self-love, confidence and respect, he would never have longed so deeply to regain it that he would do the hard work required to find happiness again.
Hatred has been the awful means of bringing about the failure of decadent empires, governments and destructive powers in high places. Apartheid, slavery, anti-Semitism, segregation and the list goes on. History seems to repeat itself as the instrument of hatred opposing love causes man to evolve into something better. This month we also commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In retrospect, would he say that we have grown by yards or by inches since his death?
Love is first expressed at the individual level. Most of us know that this question about love and hate is at least 2000 years old. Jesus’ reply to the question was that we should “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And then he went on to say that we should “love your neighbor as yourself.”
At the root of all hatred is fear. This fear begins with the child who is not shown how to love himself. This child is mercilessly criticized and so he grows up to be mercilessly critical of himself and of others. And somewhere he gets told that he can never be loved by God because he is nothing. So then he cannot love an unloving God and, bingo!, he has been unable to fulfill any of the law that we find repeated in every religious scripture...Love God, love your neighbor, love yourself. Maybe I made that too simple.
But, here is the thing. We are once again seeing an earthshaking change take place in the world. It is a call to love so great that hatred seems to be on top. As individuals, we are being called to get so fed up with expressions of hatred that we will choose to set our minds on higher thoughts; thoughts of love, peace, fairness, joy and whatever is good and become those thoughts in action! This is an individual call and it is coming with force around the globe, not just in America. One by one we must make the decision to choose to serve love or a lesser emotion. A lesser emotion can only bring a lesser, mediocre result. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the excellence found in the Love that knows “no shadow of turning” and is the same forevermore.
Peace, be still,
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy’s new book, “BE NOT ANXIOUS.” Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)