I have a theory about why the man who has stirred more controversy than any other newly elected president was sworn into office today. Could it be that the very passion that people felt about him—both the passionate admiration and the passionate hatred and fear–were the very things that brought about what we collectively and passionately did and did not want?
The Law of Attraction: Whatever you passionately desire, talk about, and think about, you draw to you. Also, whatever you passionately fear, talk about, and think about, you draw to you.
I have noted that many people are feeling very afraid of the direction in which our country is headed. I myself had a telling dream a few weeks ago in which I was walking down some deserted streets of New York City at night. I was afraid, but not of a possible mugging or some other street crime; I was afraid of my own government. Something unusual was happening in the sky and a rather dark and foreboding building settled onto the ground—like a kind of hangar or barracks I’d seen at the naval air base near my hometown.
I awoke feeling very unsettled. This wasn’t like totalitarian nightmares I’ve had in the past in which gun-toting, militarized men were chasing or rounding up citizens like myself and my neighbors; it was more subtle, but nevertheless disturbingly ominous. I had to work for several hours in order to transmute the energy of that dream. I prayed, showered, did some mental/spiritual/emotional work, and finally distracted myself with some physical labor.
Distraction is the last resort. It’s not an ideal way to resolve problems, because it obviously doesn’t. But it does take us out of a fruitless mental loop, and sometimes that needs to be a first step. Replaying something over and over in our minds can get us into trouble due to the Law of Attraction.
When someone says unkind or rude things and acts in disrespectful ways, it can be very challenging not to fall victim to hating that person. But unfortunately, when we hate or belittle or badmouth a “hateful” person, we are doing the very thing we may be angry at him for! And it becomes a vicious cycle. We perceive that he hates x, y, and z and so, in our righteous indignation, we hate him for it. This is problematic because it creates a world of hate.
How do we break the cycle? We need to scrape up the guts and the will to take the higher road. We need to look take a good hard look at ourselves and the part we’re playing in creating a world of hatred. And then we need to practice loving the unlovable.
Sometimes it helps to read stories which inspire.
The other day I found a touching story in an edition of the Reader’s Digest (a seemingly more progressive magazine than it used to be.) A black woman who was one of the few black women in her pre-med class–and feeling the isolation and stress of it–joined several others to volunteer in a prison helping men who were soon to be released. She soon found that she loved the work. She looked forward to connecting with these men every week. One day when she was on her way to the prison, she discovered that none of the other usual volunteers had come. Apparently they’d all gone to an Ohio Players concert. One of the prisoners said, “Don’t you like the Ohio Players?” She said, “They’re one of my favorites.” He replied laughingly, “Then what you doin’ here, fool?” She answered honestly, “I love you guys. I care about you and want to do whatever I can to support you.” The room became uncomfortably silent. She looked around wondering what had happened. One man broke down and said, “In my whole life, no one ever once told me they loved me or cared about me.” Soon, one by one, the other men also began to cry. One of them pointed to the back and said, “Look, even Old Baldy (the guard) is crying.” Everyone laughed.
I found myself feeling such compassion for these men. And then I found myself thinking of DT. Maybe he was the way he was because there had never been anyone who really loved him. I tried to imagine what would happen to him if someone looked beyond his cocky and belligerent attitude and just loved him.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve begun to pray for him. I pray that there is a miraculous transformation–a change of heart. It’s possible. People can change; miracles can happen. Sometimes a really unexpected event precipitates the change.
In Medicine Cards, by Jamie Sams and David Carson, there is a Native American story about Fawn. Fawn is a gentle, innocent, and loving creature and one day she was called by Great Spirit to the top of Sacred Mountain. As she started up the trail, she came upon a horrible demon. He was blocking the way. It made him feel important and powerful. Everyone was terrified of this monster. Fawn wasn’t. The demon was big and ugly and scared everyone who had ever seen him. He was absolutely formidable. But Fawn simply and gently said, “Please let me pass. I am on my way to see Great Spirit.” No matter what the demon did, no matter what noises he made or how intimidating he looked or how much he bullied her, he could not frighten her. As she looked at him with love and compassion, his rock-hard heart began to melt and he began to shrink. And now, because of Fawn’s gentleness, all of Great Spirit’s children can find their way to Sacred Mountain.
This story, in turn, reminds me of Cindy Lou Who and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. She, too, was able to shrink a grumpy, grinchy heart.
There are so many, many stories and examples of the power of love.
Nelson Mandela said, “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite…” 
If you are not up to the challenge and cannot bring yourself to love someone you find abhorrent, then please try this: Refrain from engaging in conflict. Refrain from aggression–be it verbal, physical, or even mental. I was told that when we act in hostile ways, we draw the forces of darkness. They love hostility, conflict, and chaos. However, when we act with love, and when we find ways to sit in quietude and peace, we attract the Light.
Let’s focus on what we desire, not what we fear. And let’s learn to pray for those we hate.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44, New International Version)
Blessings to us all.