Be a light unto the darkness, and curse it not.
– Neale Donald Walsch
I haven’t posted in a while. Life has been much busier than usual, but this is not the reason why…
The reason I have not posted in a while is that I have been doing my best to come to terms with something. It is something that I found to be so shocking and saddening that I am still doing my best to come to terms with it. And the research I carried out on the subject opened a veritable can of worms… I again (I say ‘again’ because something similar happened back in the years before I began this blog) found myself in a world that is so unlike anything that I or most people would ever imagine (in an unpleasant way). It was a world so bizarre that it would easily stretch the most liberal and forgiving of minds.
When I started this blog, I vowed that I would never use it to communicate anything that was negative or pessimistic. I’d like to think that I have succeeded so far and I am not about to break that vow now. Which is why I took a break from posting (so I could regain some semblance of composure) and also why I am not willing to tell you what has upset me. I will only disclose what has troubled me when I have made peace with it. And I know that I can and will make peace with it. I know that every storm passes – part of the purpose of this post is to remind you, my friends and readers, of this fact.
Now that I have given you some background, I want to get to the main point of this post.
Learning of something that shocks and saddens us, usually leads to two very predictable reactions. The first is fear, but that fear soon gives rise to anger and hatred.
This is the journey most of us make when we look at some terrible tragedy or injustice around us: we take pity on the victim; we feel revulsion towards the perpetrator (thinking that we would never do such a thing to another person); for a while we might feel fear, because we would not want such a thing happening to us or to someone we love; and then, we get angry. We feel angry that something like this happened – or was allowed to happen. And we become much angrier if we feel that the perpetrator has not received an adequate punishment. And for most of us, this is where the journey ends: hatred.
Unfortunately, while I could not blame anyone for feeling this way, I know for a fact that being stuck at anger or hatred doesn’t solve anything. In fact, it is most likely to ensure a repetition or even an escalation of whatever bad things we have become angry about: for ‘what we resist, persists’ and what we feed with our energy, we make stronger.
Then, there is the toll that hatred takes on us personally. What we hate tends to control us. Think about it. We only have to give one second’s attention to something we hate and immediately, our mood changes. We could be in the most beautiful surroundings, doing the most wonderful things with the most wonderful people, yet the moment hatred raises its ugly head, we are instantly robbed of our sense of peace and happiness. And of course, hatred also takes its toll on us physically. It causes the release of stress hormones, high blood pressure and other processes that are harmful to our wellbeing.
If all of this was not bad enough, it turns out the worst part about hatred is the one that is most often overlooked: no matter how justified we might feel, and no matter how heinous or repulsive their actions might be, when we hate others for doing hateful things, we join their ranks.
When we hate on the haters, we’re still hating. We’re only adding more hatred to this world (as if it was in short supply!). So if, for example, you are busy hating on a politician for his hate-speech, then as far as I can tell, you are still a part of the problem.
I’m not saying that we must be quiet and let evil have its way. What I am saying is that we cannot become evil and do evil in our quest to end evil. The joke’s on us when we fall into this trap. And herein lies the challenge: we must take what is ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ and somehow find a way to make it better without hatred.
From a spiritual standpoint, I believe that many of us who chose to incarnate during these special times, collectively intended to face this challenge. Every day, more and more shocking truths come to light and there is no shortage of people or things to hate. But it seems that is the one thing we cannot afford to do.
Knowing what we know, it is no longer enough to merely react. It is no longer acceptable to act in ways that will only serve to perpetuate the very evil we say we want to end. We need to stop, and think and respond in ways that are positive and constructive. We have the opportunity to progress beyond the ordinary.
The choice is ours: we can learn to understand, and in doing so, become better equipped to prevent any repetition; we can learn, grow and evolve as a species; or we can choose to stay stuck in the mire.
The challenge before us then demands nothing short of spiritual alchemy: we must embrace the darkness and transmute it into light.
This is where life finds me right now. And to be honest, it feels uncomfortable. Even so, I feel optimistic. I feel that we have what it takes to win. Do you?