How an ancient hatred becomes a present love
"Healing is when two minds recognize their oneness and become glad."
Years ago I used to hate a person. I thought this person was the cause of everyone's problems. I was secretly and passively angry at them, not communicating with them, unwilling to forgive them, feeling very hurt by them, annoyed by everything they did and wanting nothing to do with them. I had built up a considerable case against them and attempted to get others on board to agree with me. It really seemed to me that this person was the reason why I was suffering and unhappy, why I was imprisoned, why I was always at war with them and why I did not feel loved by them. It was ALL their fault.
For many years this went on. I wanted to put as much distance between myself and them as possible. I didn't want anything to do with them. I even moved to live in another place to get away from them. I was quite sure they were the enemy and I did many things to emphasize the separation between us. I wanted to be not associated with them (disassociated) and pushed them away, did not allow us to have a relationship, and despised them. That is, until one day when it all changed.
A moment happened where, in their presence and in the midst of secretly wanting not to be around them, accusing them of sin, all of a sudden this idea came into my mind. It was a shocking idea, but it was unavoidably obvious. Somehow, this person was me. Somehow, that person, in that separate body, was in some way one with me. I, myself, was "over there", behind the wall of hatred, behind their physical form, inside them. I had a kind of oneness experience for a moment. And the "target" that I always thought was "that person", suddenly was revealed to be ME.
This experience was so completely opposite to everything I had thought and felt about this person. I literally was shocked to suddenly have this experience that while I had made every effort to disassociate from "them" and build a gap between us, *I* was somehow on the other side of that gap and therefore everything I felt towards them, I was ALSO feeling towards myself. This wasn't a pleasant realization. But at the same time it was very powerful.
It was like dropping a drop of liquid detergent into greasy water. This truth had dropped in and shown me how terribly mistaken I'd been, what I'd been doing to myself, and that I couldn't continue to hate this person because doing so was hating myself. If we were one, if I was in them, if I myself was on the other side of that wall, then this whole entire thing wasn't "exclusively" about them, it was about me. Some part of my own self or mind was attacking itself with a vengeance.
This was a major turning point in the relationship. It totally turned it on its head, but gradually. Not merely in the relationship to that person but also the relationship with myself. I began to heal and to start to realize, at even an emotional level, as I catharted old pains and misperceptions and false beliefs and grievances, that I wasn't REALLY angry with that person, it was actually in fact directed towards myself. It was me that I hated and it was that which I had to heal. And everything I'd believed "they did to me" had to be forgiven.
The more I allowed myself to heal and release that, the less it appeared to be anything to really do with that person at all. It far more obviously was a split in my own mind and my own attack upon myself, which I had vehemently projected onto this person. The more I projected, using hate to increase the separation, the less it SEEMED to be anything to do with myself. It was all about them. I as I healed, so too did my view of this person. As I undid my own self attack, the impression of offense, victimhood, enemies and projective blame, I stopped being so triggered by this person or believing it was about them at all. My attention turned within to the enemy I'd made of myself.
Over time, my relationship to that person has improved profoundly. Almost all of the blame and scapegoating has stopped. The huge stockpile of pain has melted. Animosity and inequality has turned to equality and friendliness. It seems like nothing happened. The specialness has dissolved. I can talk to them more honestly, openly and deeply. There is communication. There is forgiveness. And it's given way to a more mature way of relating. This is all thanks to the undoing of the separation in my mind and the willingness to take an honest look at what I am doing to myself.
Ancient hatred. Present love.
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