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Fueled By Love

--by Timber Hawkeye (Aug 20, 2018)


When a parent sees their child is about to be attacked by someone, it doesn't matter how peaceful and calm they normally are, most parents would still resort to violence (or much worse) in order to protect their loved ones. In that scenario, you could argue that their violence is fueled by love, right?

We are only talking about conditional love in this example, not some altruistic compassion for all sentient beings (which would also include the attacker in this instance). We are talking about a very intense and passionate love for that which we personally hold dear.

By using that same logic, it's now easier to understand why some people are so hateful, racist, homophobic, or prejudiced: they are simply defending what they personally hold dear. As soon as they feel their values, traditions, or ideals are being attacked, their impulse is to protect, defend, and fight against anyone who threatens them.

Is it possible that even what we often perceive as a "hate crime," for example, is actually fueled by love? A love that is misplaced or blind at best, but love just the same?

Don't get me wrong; I'm not justifying violence, crime, or war in any way, I am only trying to apply the theory that "hurt people hurt people" so that I can better understand all the fighting in the world. It's as if everyone is protecting something, which would explain so much. If we justify the parent's violence in the example above as nothing more than their attempt to protect what they love, then it's easier to understand how one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. Even greed is nothing more than someone's love affair with always wanting "more," and intolerance is just a heated resistance to change.

The reality is that we can't control what other people do or how they see the world, but maybe we can start to see it all through the lens of love (haters included). Can we accept that when someone is hurting deeply within themselves, their pain spills over until they start hurting everyone around them? According to Thich Nhat Hanh, this is their cry for help, and what they need is our understanding, not judgment. Because when we hate the hater, we become haters ourselves.

So here is my food for thought and invitation [...]: let's extend our own love and compassion to include EVERYBODY. When we see someone screaming, yelling, and protesting against something, can we look beyond their anger and hatred to what they actually love and are simply trying to protect? Would this subtle shift open our own hearts to truly include everyone, not just those whom we happen to personally hold dear?

Nobody's hate is justified, but perhaps it can be understood.

Timber Hawkeye is the author of Buddhist Boot Camp.  Drawing from his wide-ranging experiences, he offers approaches to peace, within and around us in the world.

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On Sep 27, 2018 Rocky wrote:

 



On Aug 21, 2018 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 So much YES to looking beyond someone's anger and hatred to what they love and are trying to protect. This has been my mantra since before our election cycle in 2016 here in the US. Often it has fallen on deaf ears, I was told if I was compassionate and loved, I was then complicit. I disagree. If I love and seek to understand, I feel as if that is trying to build a bridge toward understanding. So, I continue to post about love and compassion for Everyone and seeking to understand what is underneathe the anger/ hate which is often fear and yes, under that is love often of family, sense of security and wanting to be seen, heard understood. Here's to looking through the lens of love. What helps me avoid hating is empathy and compassion and knowing that hurt people hurt people and healed people heal people. Maybe there can be more healing and less hate. <3 



1 reply: Amy | Post Your Reply
On Aug 21, 2018 Robert wrote:

 "Selfishness -- self-centeredness!  That, we think, is the root of our troubles.  Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.  Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt." -- Bill W., Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62.

Love does not drive us; fear does.  Love is very different from fear.  With all due respect, I disagree with Timber Hawkeye.



1 reply: Susan | Post Your Reply
On Aug 20, 2018 SUSAN wrote:

 It's a beautiful thing to be so aware as to be able to pause, to empathise, and to understand why someone hates, hurts, is racist, etc. 

I fall short of this empathy far to often, I'm afraid. I feel so fierce about fairness - fair treatment of others. I am tending to just become quiet especially now with the challenges politically in my home country, America, when I read or hear terrible talk about immigrants, about race, etc. For me my 'right and wrong' are really clear to me and I have sincere difficulty understanding this idea of protection or protecting with racism, or any 'ism' really.

For me the real deal is being more loving within myself, to myself and others, to be of meaningful service to someone else daily, to be accepting and loving in my words and deeds... to be my best self, better and better in every way every day... and when I fall short, I remember that tomorrow is a new day!



1 reply: Jo | Post Your Reply
On Aug 20, 2018 David Doane wrote:

Parents and anyone of us who resort to violence to protect their kids and loved ones are being violent.  There is no justified violence  — violence is unnecessary.  When I’m violent, I’m violent just like any other violent person.  A person’s violence may be partially fueled by love, but is likely primarily fueled primarily by ignorance and underlying violence.  People who are hateful, racist, homophobic or prejudiced aren’t simply defending what they hold dear, they are responding from underlying anger and violence and from their reptilian brain and choosing fight and violence instead of flight.  A person being violent may be seen as a freedom fighter, but he’ being a fighter of freedom and not a fighter for freedom.  Seeing violence through the eyes of love may decrease the violence but it doesn’t make the violence an act of love.  As Thich Naat Hahn said, when we hate the hater we become a hater. &nbs  See full.

Parents and anyone of us who resort to violence to protect their kids and loved ones are being violent.  There is no justified violence  — violence is unnecessary.  When I’m violent, I’m violent just like any other violent person.  A person’s violence may be partially fueled by love, but is likely primarily fueled primarily by ignorance and underlying violence.  People who are hateful, racist, homophobic or prejudiced aren’t simply defending what they hold dear, they are responding from underlying anger and violence and from their reptilian brain and choosing fight and violence instead of flight.  A person being violent may be seen as a freedom fighter, but he’ being a fighter of freedom and not a fighter for freedom.  Seeing violence through the eyes of love may decrease the violence but it doesn’t make the violence an act of love.  As Thich Naat Hahn said, when we hate the hater we become a hater.  Likewise, when we are violent to a violent person we are are violent ourselves.  Yes, it is possible to a person who is violent.  That shift in my heart isn’t subtle, it’s major.  What helps me make the shift is reminding myself that violence fosters violence and nonviolence reduces violence in the hater and in me.

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1 reply: Trey | Post Your Reply
On Aug 19, 2018 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 This writing by Timber Hawkeye reminds me of St Francis of Assisi's Peace Prayer. It begins with," Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;  where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy." And it ends wirh these uplifting  words: "for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal life." This is the spiritual dimension of living. Knowing it and practicing it, contemplating and acting, extends and expands our awareness leading to pure awareness. As the Budhha says, "Asho dhammo sanatanaha. This is the Eternal spiritual law." When I am quiet not justifying my wrong doing or reacting to other's wrong doing, I see the light of this spiritual wisdom. I understand my wrong doing  empathically as a human being and of the other too like me as a human being. When I see myself  and the other with the lense  See full.

 This writing by Timber Hawkeye reminds me of St Francis of Assisi's Peace Prayer. It begins with," Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;  where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy." And it ends wirh these uplifting  words: "for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal life." This is the spiritual dimension of living. Knowing it and practicing it, contemplating and acting, extends and expands our awareness leading to pure awareness. As the Budhha says, "Asho dhammo sanatanaha. This is the Eternal spiritual law." When I am quiet not justifying my wrong doing or reacting to other's wrong doing, I see the light of this spiritual wisdom. I understand my wrong doing  empathically as a human being and of the other too like me as a human being. When I see myself  and the other with the lense of emapthy and compassion, I hear the underlying cry for love behind anger and hatred and violence.

This is an ongoing journey in my life and I am going through it slowly and steadily. My path gets more enlightened with each step and I am grateful to great spiritual teachers for guiding me in the journey of my life. My journey becomes a pilgrmage.
I would like to conclude with the words of wisdom by my favorite Russian author Leo Tolstoy: " Love is the only way to rescue humanioty of all its ills."

Namaste!
May we sow love where there is hurt, hatred and injury!
Jagdish P Dave

















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On Aug 16, 2018 Vinod Eshwer wrote:

 When we suspend judgement, the heart opens, love flows and we are free.