L´earning to Love
Gloria Ornelas Hall
Lesson TrustPeople are mean. But people are also kind. The human heart holds both. We each decide. We have to know them, both to develop discernment, which is the capacity to sift through life and identify right from wrong.
The word mean, can ‘mean’ so many things.. ‘purpose or intention’; ‘miserly or stingy’; a ‘mathematically average’; or ‘cruel and spiteful’…Rounding them all: it is somebody miserly with the intention of responding spitefully when a fair average has been abused. Whatever the justification, it is wrong. We respond with hatred and destruction, when wronged, going against people who are ‘in the light’; much as turning jealousy into envy. In jealousy we desire that, which someone else has, working for and protecting it. In envy, one desires what someone else has, but thinking oneself undeserving, we chose to destroy those who do have it. Meanness turns evil when we destroy happiness in others.
Meanness, hatred, evil and destruction all start from anger, gone rotten from repression and resentment. ‘Angrrrr’ is an emotional response of defense and protection. It may be a response against something that wrongs us from without, or from within. We can be angry with ourselves or with others. Repressed anger churns bile, vile. We replay the same memory of injustice and pain, hurting more and more, with growing ‘re-sentiment’. Cowardice makes us weak and secretly vengeful. So we weave stories that justify our feelings in self-delusion, lying to ourselves and others, till we believe them. We seek the company of those who become accomplices, believing and sharing our lies, while we shun those who question us. That is when we lose the guiding compass that identifies right from wrong. Internalized pain makes us mean, defensively attacking those that seem to menace our self-righteous façade with righteousness. We ‘harden’ our hearts and become insensitive to others, while developing hypersensitivity of our own internalized suffering.
Righteous anger channels that same energy constructively, developing the ‘cou-rage’ and fortitude, needed to confront that, which is damaging. We must resist meanness in our own heart and avoid evil, manifest. It is foolish not to recognize that evil can destroy our ‘god-ness’.
We need evil to know kindness, much as we need darkness to identify light. Perhaps the human saga is about neutralizing both opposites to find a happy medium that integrates them both. That is Love. It can only happen opening the heart and trusting we can love someone who wrongs us despite the pain; trusting that beneath the evil façade is kindness, wronged; trusting that behind the black clouds of a storm is the Sun.