Welcome back to the series on being a better lover. I started with the principles of loving, and then moved on to the skills, and hopefully, you’re reading these in order, because they build upon one another. And of course, the skills are the principles put into practice. Since principle number four was love is good will in action, the corresponding skill is I Will You Good. Like yesterday’s skill, this one can be hard to put into play with people you don’t like. After my first husband and I split up, I had lots of things I was angry about. There were days, quite frankly, when I wished he would get run over by a bus. Many people would have told you that I was justified in being angry. But here’s the problem with self-righteous anger. It actually serves no one. Nelson Mandela said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” Holding onto anger has been deemed a contributing factor in many major illnesses, including heart disease and cancer. When I think about how I function when I am angry, it’s hard to see the benefits. I’m unfocused, distracted. My heart rate is up. My muscles are tense, and my throat is tight. Adrenaline races through me, which is probably why I stay angry. It makes me feel more powerful and therefore safe, but anger appears to have only one function, to destroy. Internalized,it destroys our health. Externalized, it can destroy the furniture, or relationships.
At times like that, it takes all my intentionality to remember to will the other good. And yet this is the path of Love. It is love for them, and love for self, at work. The golden rule states do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Anything else is sheer laziness! Sometimes, it doesn’t come easy, oh how I know that. But I have the intention to get there. Here are some useful tips for how to become open to willing another person good when you are just plain mad at them.
- Get it off your chest in a way that hurts no one. Punch a pillow. Write an angry letter and then burn it. Journal.
- Look at your resentments with an eye for what the behavior of the other threatens in you. It’s usually your pride, self-esteem, security, financial security or some combination
- Notice how you behave when you are triggered and decide if that way of acting represents who you want to be in the world
- Use tools that can lift resentment, for example eft, withholds, or ho’oponopono
- Pray for them – to whatever deity or power of universal goodness you believe in. Do it through gritted teeth if you have to, it still works. Keep doing it until you do mean it.
I can almost hear you saying, “But Rebekah, he did the unforgivable _______________.” And I say, that it may not happen overnight. But you have to find forgiveness, for him, and for yourself. You don’t have to stay with him. My friend Beth always says you can love a wild dog, but you don’t stick your hand in his cage. A long time ago, I worked for the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC. There was a manager there who seemed to hate me. He followed me everywhere. finding fault, criticizing and shaming me. I tried the pray for him thing. Every night, “Dear God, please give Todd every good thing he wants for himself, and you want for him.” And would you believe, he got promoted to a different store in another state! Problem solved. Magic happens in the space of Love.
Find good will for those you disagree with. This is one of those opportunities for progress not perfection. If you want to experience more Love, you can love the people you already care for more deeply, and you can expand the pool of people you feel love for. Set an intention to love people you disagree with and I guarantee you will feel more serene, better about yourself and about them.
Tomorrow: Love is responding to needs
How do you clear anger at your Beloved? let us know in the comments below!