Sometimes you can be angry with someone, or even say you hate someone, because they remind you of something in our your self, You can be angry at your mother because she tells you that you can’t have the thing that you really know inside yourself would not be a good thing after all. Maybe you really know inside that the thing you think would be so good, would really not work or would really be bad for you in the long run or would even hurt someone else. But it is easier to be mad at your mother, father, sibling, friend, teacher or other advisor because you don’t want to look inside of yourself. It’s too hard to feel the shame, or the guilt, or even the worry. So, you dump it outside, and usually either the one that tells you it’s wrong, or even the person that you’ve done wrong to gets the blame for how you feel.
Feeling guilty is painful, and hard to do. Feeling shame because you have acted badly feels even worse sometimes. But blaming other people for what you have done makes everything stop in place. You can’t feel the guilt because you’ve made the other person have it. You can’t feel the shame because you’re found someone else to blame for it, This way, you never have to look inside yourself at all! Except that you do know the truth inside. The people that used to own slaves maybe hated slaves because they reminded the slave-owners of how wrong slavery is, and the slave-owners didn’t want to be reminded. But the truth of their guilt or shame would not leave them alone, so they had to hate the slaves more in order to try to make the slaves to blame. This can happen with any kind of person, any kind of situation.
So, the next time you say you hate someone, ask yourself: “Where am I feeling guilty or ashamed inside? Where don’t I want to look? Where am I blaming them for the things I don’t want to see inside myself?“
Too many people seem to think that if they don’t say something then it isn’t lying. If they are asked, “Did you break this?” or, “Did you forget to do that?” they too often don’t say anything: they do not commit themselves to the truth by saying “Yes,” if they did or “No,” if they didn’t. They pretend that they aren’t really being asked to be honest and confess. It’s understandable sometimes: if you are afraid of being yelled at and punished, or shamed and made to look like a fool when you have done something wrong, then it is very hard to confess: you don’t want to walk into pain. But to pretend you weren’t part of what happened by pretending you’re invisible, or that if you don’t say what you did then it won’t have happened, helps nothing, and makes the truth become dim, as though your silence was a fog.
Of course it would have been better to have not done the bad thing on purpose in the first place, or to ask forgiveness for the accident when it happened. But here is great danger when you make things dim! If you can’t see clearly, you make more mistakes, yes? So if you work at making other people think that you don’t need to be honest, or that it’s all right if you don’t tell the truth by not saying anything, then other people can make you live with their lies too. When you blur honesty by not speaking the truth aloud, you rob honesty of its strength. And there are many other people that are better than you at hiding the truth under lies. If honesty is blurred and buried under lies, it smothers and dies until you cannot trust anything or anyone, not even your self. And you started this by not being honest.
If someone says something bad to you, whether it’s about you or anything else, you start feeling bad, right? Words have a lot of power! If you keep using words like sticks, you can eventually batter someone to death, literally. Just from words!
You always have a choice about what words you use. So why not use kind words? Why not use gentle words, words of praise that you really mean, and words of encouragement, celebration and joy? If you say happy things, how could you possibly feel worse? Instead of saying, “I’m tired of looking at this old… (whatever it is), you might say, “I am so happy I can see! I am so happy that I can see in color, and that when I look for beauty I can find it! I am so happy that seeing is so easy to do, too: I don’t have to have an operation or something every time I want to see. All I have to do is open my eyes. How happy that makes me!”
You might try and imagine what it would be like to be blind, or to be able to see only once or twice a year, or that maybe seeing hurt your eyes every time. You might imagine that you live in a universe where seeing something far away was as hard as running there. But it isn’t, it isn’t. Seeing is a gift every time you use it. Think about what really good things you have already, like being able to see, just for free! And then you can say things from your happiness. Why not?