Being hurt is an emotional aspect of the human condition that none of us can avoid.
It is one of the aspects of the first Noble Truth: The Truth of Pain/Suffering.
As social and emotional creatures, we depend on each other and only thrive and grow under conditions of love and healing yet sadly, we are faced with suffering far too often. It is how we deal with this suffering that makes the difference in our lives.
I have written before about anger and the first Noble Truth and this may seem repetitive, but it is the simplicity of this truth that needs repeating, maybe in a slightly different way, in order to reach a different mind set; hate.
Hate is a by product of fear, which stems from ignorance.
This isn’t to say that you’re stupid. This ignorance is part of Right View. We are ignorant of the control we allow over our lives because we don’t understand how our actions fully play out. Our ignorance is part of the process of trying to find security (fear) from pain and suffering. We seek a calm sea, one of perfect safety and ease yet in trying to secure that or force it into existence; we often churn the waters far beyond what they would have been, naturally.
Let’s take a look at this from the stance of human relationships; specifically, intimate, adult, sexual relationships.
Part of our idea of happiness lies in finding that perfect someone; that hallmark hero who will take away all of life’s crap and sprinkle it with miracle grow and turn it into Tiny Tim’s, Tip Toeing Through the Tulips (sorry 30 and unders).
In seeking this perfect match, we place a burden on them that no one can actually bear: the burden of our happiness.
We expect them to offer us support, security, laughter, great sex, stimulating conversation and a never ending pasta bowl. When reality kicks in however, and the ‘no farting in front of me’ policy breaks, we see that they are human.
They get angry, sad, have similar expectations of us and all too often, these colliding ideas of what things should be lead us on a path away from each other. Now they seek comfort and unrealistic expectations from someone else. We are left with empty Ben & Jerry’s containers, 15 extra pounds, and an unpleasant odor because we haven’t showered in a week.
Once we start to function again, all this hurt and angst turns to wishes of ill will on our past “one true love.” We would have walked to the ends of the earth for them, yet now we are wishing a lifetime of hemorrhoids and herpes on them. It’s funny how “love” changes when it’s not just what we want and how and when we want it.
So we fester.
We stew and plot and scheme and this slowly turns to feelings of hate.
We seem fine. We are interacting again, but our interactions are touched by our internal volition. We ridicule happy new couples, we notice we are throwing insults at everyone now, friends aren’t talking to us, people seem disinclined to interact with us and it’s all that so and so’s fault! If only…
The truth is, it really isn’t their fault.
Are we hurt? Yes, absolutely! Did they do and say hurtful things? Maybe, probably…but I am sure we did as well. The issue however, is how we are acting now.
The hate has tainted everything around us, because we are holding onto it, looking for peace and security. But hate and fear don’t offer peace, or security, or happiness—they only boil over into more hate and confusion.
So how do we let go?
How do we make a change from being miserable, angry, and bitter into if not perfectly happy, at least, calm and compassionate people?
This is part of now ending suffering (third Noble Truth) by following and living the path out of suffering (fourth Noble Truth). Ending it requires having right view.
Right view is the antithesis to ignorance. It is superman’s kryptonite. Right view shows us that hate is based on fear and fear is based on ignorance. It is the courage of living fully engaged in our present moments, not in our hang ups. Right view is the step by step process of dissecting our negative emotions back to their root—and no, it’s not our exes—it was the burden of happiness we placed on our idea of them, before things turned sour.
Happiness is an inside job.
Everything else is a distraction from that truth.
Until we secure that happiness, by fully engaging our own moments, it will evade us. We will continue to place our expectations on every situation instead of on how we act within those situations. Ignorance ends, when we step out of a wish and engage with compassion, a reality. We can never control what happens in life. It moves on with or without us. What we can control, is our reaction to it.
If you want to live without hate, start by having compassion on yourself. Not pity, compassion. Compassion comes with responsibility and bravery. It is embracing truth without trying to force it to change.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Jason Bo/Pixoto