I know a woman who hated both her mother and her own daughter. In fact, anyone can come to develop an aversion toward another human being. It’s like going down a dark hole. The further we descend, the harder it is to return to the light.
Similarly, the more we allow even the slightest negative thought about someone to enter our mind, the more that negativity snowballs, dragging us further and further into the pits of darkness. That’s why it’s important to never allow a moment of resentment to enter our mind. Not even toward those who may have most violated us.
More that that, anyone can learn to love that object of resentment, even when that object shows nothing but hatred in return. Here’s how:
The first thing to do is to think of the object-of-aversion’s strengths and positive attributes. Make a mental list of his or her positive attributes you’ve come across, and joyfully reflect on them.
The next thing to do is think of ways you can bring happiness to that person, yet not worry if your efforts are not well received.
Think of what you may have done to cause discontent to the object-of-aversion. Try to correct those behaviors in yourself. This reflection helps us grow.
Recognize that our aversions usually stem from jealousy, insecurity, or feelings of inadequacy. Also recognize that people who treat us adversely experience those same emotions. Either way, view the person with the aversion with compassion and empathy.
Never retaliate, not even in thought. The tit-for-tat strategy is always an unhealthy route. Instead, seek out your inner beauty and give kindness in exchange for wrongs.
Smile sincerely at the object of aversion and use manners. No matter your gender, a high level of manners goes a long way.
Think of all the positive moments with someone. Remember the object-of-aversion for his or her beautiful moments, not the troubling ones. For instance, I wish to remember Elvis Presley at his peak in health, fame, and spirituality, not after he was mired in toxins. I also wish to remember my family members for all their loving moments only.
Never, never allow a moment of hatred to enter our minds. I read that hatred gives a false sense of power. It’s a power that self-implodes, taking the bearer of hatred down with all those around him or her. And if starting out in a relationship, beware marrying a partner who harbors hatred toward any other human being. Do not be a person capable of hatred.
Today I saw a quote that said something like “Forgiveness sets us free. Letting go helps us grow.” Letting go doesn’t mean dropping people from our lives. It means letting go of resentment so we can experience the joy intended for our lives—and so we can better give joy to all the lives we encounter.
And the final step toward loving an object-of-aversion is the most intuitive of all: when someone—anyone—friend or foe—enters our mind, think of them with nothing but love. We can truly drum up love for anyone at anytime, for love is our true essence.