Hate has become a swear word for younger children. I know because I used the word once in front of my granddaughter, I think in reference to bananas. She was five at the time and she said, “Oh, grandmama, that’s a bad word. We’re not allowed to say that word.”
I’ve tried not to use that word again, or the other swear word, “stupid,” of which she informed me was very bad. Frankly, it was challenging to come up with descriptive words to replace them. The words “hate” and “stupid” slap labels on things so effortlessly and it’s done. It seems harmless if you’re talking about produce, but when those words are thrown out towards people, it’s hurtful. It feels good to simply spew those emotions instead of spending time in self-reflection where your perspective changes and you can see the beam in your own eye.
Listening to an interview of the author of Conversations With God, there’s an exercise I learned about and it’s called “There I go again.” This exercise helps us take a minute to see ourselves in other people, therefore cultivating empathy and true love.
When you see a prisoner on television, for example, instead of judging, say to yourself, “There I go again.” When you see a homeless person begging for money, say “There I go again.” When you see photos of people in countries living in poverty, whisper, “There I go again.”
This connects “us” to “them.” It’s not us versus them, it’s, and please pardon the grammar, us IS them. We must be able to see ourselves in others to have genuine love for them. Otherwise our help or care is condescending and detached.
But here’s where it goes even deeper: do this exercise for people to whom you feel morally superior. Yes, those people. The ones you can’t stand. The people who have done the unthinkable. The men and women who say and do and have attitudes that make your stomach sick. The ones you think I would never do that! Anyone come to mind? “There I go again.” We’ll have to practice this one, my friends.
Here’s some relief, though. Do it for the people who you see doing good things. The people helping others, say “There I go again.” You have virtue in you, too. We don’t only have to identify with the negative in others; it’s equally important to connect with the powerful positive that others are doing. “There I go again.”
The world mirrors back to us who we are. We see ourselves in the creation around us. See yourself in the damned and in the blessed because we’re all connected. This is not only an emotional exercise, it’s a spiritual exercise that can have lasting transformational impact on your life and in the world around you. It can make this a better place. We are eternal beings having an exquisite human experience. Let’s help raise the energy of this amazing place, Earth, by practicing “There I go again.”