Remember when your Mother said in reaction to you blurting out that you wished ‘(enter name here) was dead’ that, ‘You shouldn’t hate anyone!’ Well she was right. Hatred is a double-edged sword. Hate anyone and it comes back at you twice as strong. Hatred burns you up from the inside. Let me help with Exercise 2. Dissipate hate using the Red Flag.
The energy you use to hate someone screws you up and without putting too fine a point on it, rots you from the inside out. Hatred eats you away. Mum was right, you should never hate anyone…
I confess, I was guilty of hating someone, and yes, it affected me, more than it affected him.
I hated him because he made my life a misery.
He was a bully and the trouble was, he was in charge, he was the boss.
I wasn’t the only one. Anyone who worked under him, suffered. He would because of his behaviour and the position he was in cause numerous people to walk out of the job because they couldn’t take his ignorant ways anymore. He was…a bastard and a bully.
I, because of my young family was one of those who stuck at the job which I have to say was (except for his presence, excellent. It was in the entertainment industry and was very well paid. Unfortunately, you got these rewards at the cost of your sanity and well-being. For me the trouble was, and I can only talk about myself here, I took him home with me.
He invaded my off-duty time.
He was in my dreams, my thoughts and because I didn’t live that far away from him, in my vision every day. His very presence was a disease. My hatred and resentment was so great that my energy went on cursing him and wishing the worst for him. But of course he was the one ‘winning’. He had well and truly screwed me up.
It was when my wife noticed what a miserable specimen, I had become that I knew I had to do something about it. But what?
I was already getting into meditation. I was trying my best to remember to stop for a few minutes a day to discover myself, or rather not to lose sight of myself. I’m not saying that it was working but at least I was making some kind of effort to…what? At the time I don’t think I was sure what I was doing. I just knew I had to do something.
Anyway, the bastard…
I realised what was happening to me. So, I devised a scenario that I thought might strengthen me and help me get him out of my head. Something to calm me down and stop the ‘self-harm’ thinking about him constantly was doing to me.
I called it ‘The Red Flag’.
Relax yourself. Then…
A red flag at the top of a white flagpole.
Behind the flag a dark and menacing sky.
The wind is whipping across the flag. You can hear the wind howling and the red flag flapping in the high wind.
Take it in. Watch it for a while…
Suddenly, the face of the one you have fostered a hatred for appears as if an insignia on the centre of the red flag.
Take it in. Look at it for a while.
Breath deeply all the time trying to fight off the anger that you feel seeing your ‘enemy’s’ face.
Suddenly, the skies lighten. You can feel the sun’s warmth on your face.
The wind is still blowing but somehow it doesn’t seem so angry.
The red flag is still flapping wildly in the wind…you can still see his/her face but now…
The flag is shredding in the high wind.
Long red slivers break away and disappear carried off by the wind.
Bit by bit. Sliver by sliver the red flag tears, shreds and breaking away, disappears into the distance. With each sliver that disappears you feel your anger , your hatred towards this person lifting…until…finally…like the red flag there is nothing left. Gone. Your hatred and the red flag…gone…
The wind is dying and in a moment is settled…just a soft, cool breeze.
All that remains is the pure white flagpole in a beautiful blue sky.
You can hear your breathing and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. You are free.