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Let's be a Source of Love in a Divisive World
Adapted from the works of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness. ~ James Thurber

Anger and hate are emotions that halt us in our tracks and block our way. Hatred automatically makes us into victims - it gives us an excuse to blame someone else for what we are feeling. Anger holds us back, feeding our Lower Selves and keeping us from being our best.

It’s so hard not to feel angry and hateful in today’s world. Current circumstances seem to be especially divisive. You can’t browse the internet, read a newspaper, or watch the news without hearing vitriol and personal attacks.

Often someone attacks the things you believe in. Of course, we're going to be angry and defensive. From there, it is barely a step into feeling hate. It's almost too easy. And in these uncertain times, it's even more important for us to step back and try to understand our negative feelings and turn them into something more productive.

Susan wrote, ''Why are we so quick to hate and why does the level of hatred seem to be getting worse all around the planet? I don't think there is an easy answer, but as with most experiences in my life, I got to thinking what I could learn from it. How could I turn what prompts me to feel hatred into something positive, from which I could learn and grow? I started to search in my own mind why I am driven to anger and hatred, yes sometimes I am, and how could I control the growth of these negative feelings towards someone whom I have probably never met or something that I don't fully understand or know all the facts about.''

The following six tools are adapted from an article Susan wrote about dealing with the feeling of hate on a personal level. As you can see, these tools can help us control our feelings and bring love to the world.

  1. Don't overreact. Rushing to judgment can be a terrible mistake. Step back for a minute. You will be amazed at how different the outcome will be if you just stop to think.
  2. Understand your reaction. Do you really underst and why you're upset? Is it really that contrary opinion? If we are comfortable in what we believe, then there is no reason to be angry.
  3. Remember that there are two sides to every story. Step back from your own position and take a closer look at where the other side's opinion is coming from.
  4. Don't take it so personally. You can't solve all the problems of the world yourself so don't take these burdens on your shoulders.
  5. Handle your fear. Fear underlies so many of our actions and reactions. Learning to handle your fear will empower you to act in a more balanced and caring manner when facing a provoking situation.
  6. Say, ''I love you, I love you, I love you''. These magical words encapsulate the essence of all the other tools above. Just repeating them to yourself, over and over again, as you focus on what is antagonizing you, subliminally defuse all the rage you are holding.

Anger and hate can be devastating not just to our mental health but also to our physical health. Susan wrote, ''I react more slowly and with less judgment to situations that would in the past have made me angry. Another bonus is that I am also feeling better physically and mentally as I have taken some of the stress out of my life. Stress is a killer for one's body, and there is nothing like the stress that comes from the hatred that you are feeling, believe me.''

So remember, when dire news starts to bring you down or when you get slammed by online acquaintances, you can choose to walk a higher path. You can choose to bring love and light into the world.

Each of us can contribute just by a simple adjustment
to our attitudes towards others.
You never know it could start a landslide of goodwill
that spreads all-round the globe.

Wouldn't that be wonderful?

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