Today I want to challenge us all, including myself. Pretty much all spiritual and religious teachings advise us to love our neighbor. But how many of us do it? Most of us avoid our neighbors! But here is the thing; do you want to be happy or suffer? It’s that simple. What we put out into the world comes back to us, indirectly and at one time or another.

Thomas Merton says: “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” It may be easy to love someone or be kind to someone who treats us kindly and lovingly. But what about when someone barks in your face, or wants to start an argument saying something that pushes your button, saying something racist or homophobic for example. Can you return love for hatred?

Many of us who consider ourselves healers or lightworkers are very sensitive. We may feel delight when deep in meditation, but when someone cuts us off in traffic we point a certain finger at them. Our number one goal when someone verbally or energetically attacks us is to not contract, to keep our energy high, in love and nonjudgment. One local Seattle teacher, Matt Kahn, suggests either blessing or complimenting the person. For example, someone tells us they don’t like something about us. We take a breath, and say something that feels authentic but loving, such as, Thank you for having the courage to express your feelings. Or you could laughingly say, Sometimes I don’t care for myself either!

Here is the thing. Someone who is attacking you or picking a fight is not in their right mind or true self, but in their pain or ego. So, you cannot argue or discuss this with them. There is no use. Their small self is wanting to trigger you and keep the energy dense. The pain body seems to feed on conflict. Do not go there!

But the higher self of the person is looking for healing. The person is really expressing his or her pain, showing how they themselves were once hurt or treated. They are looking for you to be an angel, and not match hate with hate. Can you do it?

Obviously we might not heal their wounds with one kind word, but it does a couple things. First, it keeps us from shrinking and contracting, which is our main job in life really. Secondly, for just once, they are not receiving the same scorn they put out, or which was done to them at some point, and this jolts the person, causing a slight shift in their energy system. Rather than adding yet another wound or confirmation of their badness, you added a touch of love, just a small blessing. It literally could be “bless you. Thank you for being honest” or what feels authentic and doable to you.

This is big work, not easy, but it gets easier with practice. And what is the alternative, to keep the wars going? So, again, can we practice blessing rather than belittling, complimenting rather than cursing? Remember, this person who you are relating to is you. There is no other. I send blessings to each of you as you practice this worthwhile and loving work.