Dancing on the graves of the anti-vaxxers. Dancing on the grave of Colin Powell. Some of us hating on fellow progressives, or accusing them of hating on you, because they don’t walk in lockstep on every single issue.

I don’t consider myself a Christian in the sense that I believe Jesus Christ was the messiah. However, even reading the New Testament as literature, I understand why “Jesus wept.”

During my 30s I went on a spiritual journey and studied several religions trying to find the thread that connected my own experiences with religious beliefs. I spent about a year studying Buddhism and learned to meditate in the Buddhist tradition.

Perhaps this rewired my brain in some way because, ever since, I am incapable of hating anyone or remaining truly angry for more than a few seconds.

The Dali Lama was once asked if he ever felt anger. He responded, “Of course,” then he went on to use a profound analogy.

Negative emotions – hate, anger, even hurt – are like the breeze that ruffles the leaves of a tree then quickly passes and the leaves come to rest.

Like the tree, we would do well to allow the breeze of negative emotions to momentarily pass through and out of us. Before we say or do anything. Before we lash out.

It’s been said: “Hate is a wasted emotion” and the source of the quote has been attributed to different people.

In my point of view, hate is a useless emotion. It short circuits our thinking process taking us to dark places and holds us there.

It harms us physically:    

Hatred negatively impacts the nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system. Extreme emotions trigger the release of stress hormones in the brain. Over time, these stress hormones lead to increased inflammation throughout the body, resulting in significant health consequences. The more intense an emotion becomes, the more physically demanding it is to contain it. Holding on to hate can be exhausting.

… The opposite of hate is often considered love, but this is not true. Opposite of hate is mental and emotional detachment. Hatred creates an attachment to the thing or person hated the most. Hatred is an intense repulsion. Hatred falsely inflates the ego and makes one feel very superior and self-righteous against the thing or person who is hated, which only results in more pain.

https://www.medicinenet.com/why_do_people_hate/article.htm

On January 6th we saw the fallout of hate ginned up by the prince of hate himself, trump. Hoards of haters intent on destroying democracy based on lies and ignorance and white supremacist hate.

As I watched in horror, I still couldn’t bring myself to hate them. I softly wept for a few moments, incredulous. Then my leaves came to rest.

As I mentioned above, I went on a years-long quest studying many religions, including those of Mystics, Pagans and Indigenous Peoples.

They all had one teaching in common: Love Each Other.  

I found this amazing. I wondered how this was possible.

Religions and beliefs from different corners of the globe dating back to the beginning of civilization: Love Each Other.  

Though we may flare up with anger and hurt caused by the horrific actions and words of others, allow it to pass.

If we progressives allow hate to take root in our psyche, we’re no better than the GQP.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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