(804) 928-3189 BethHedquist@gmail.com

Befriending Your Inner Terrorist

Befriending Your Inner Terrorist

The domestic terrorist attack that recently occurred in Charlottesville, Va. by persons motivated by hate, fear, and intolerance has offered me an opportunity to reflect on the teaching Jesus called us to live – The call to love your enemy.

 

I’ll be honest. Loving those folks has been very difficult for me.

 

While I know it to be a worthwhile teaching, when it comes to implementing it in my life and in my heart I can feel the place that rails against love and acceptance. It feels too much like spiritual bypass. And while I don’t want to bypass anything, I do want to arrive at authentic compassion.

 

In Pathwork Lecture 133, The Guide says:

“All religions, philosophies, and psychologies agree that love is the key to fulfillment, to security, to creative growth. And yet love cannot be commanded, nor can it be a commandment. It is a free, spontaneous soul movement. The more people try to love as if it were a duty demanded by conscience and obedience, the less does it truly manifest.”

 

 

We cant will ourselves to love our enemy. We can’t put a pretty mask on top of a volcano of emotion and expect it to remain dormant. So how do we move from the destructive place of hate to a genuine place of love and compassion?

 

 

No matter how many times I spin around in circles trying to wrap my brain around the presence of evil and how to respond to these monsters and the horrible acts they commit, it always comes back to a simple statement.

 

Let it begin with me.

 

What I can do is acknowledge where I still hate others, and how their hate is no different at its core than the hate I harbor inside.

 

I may not act on my hate outwardly, but if it is there, then denying it is to be like those who watch the terrorists and minimize, justify, and silently turn the other way, colluding with evil and abdicating responsibility.

 

This is the most dangerous form of evil there is, and something I will be guilty of if I am not aware of what lives in me.

 

It is challenging and humbling to acknowledge my Inner Terrorist, the dark corner of my psyche that might delight in the hate, humiliation, torture, revenge or annihilation of my perceived enemy. At times that part of me can direct the hateful energy towards myself, which is equally as destructive.

 

The places in me that want to be hateful and hurtful are monsters, just like the ones I encounter “out there” – but only monsters in disguise. Once I gather the courage to befriend them I discover that underneath their scary appearance lies their true nature which is love, and they need me to help them remember who they really are.

 

So this is the work then. Not to deny my hate and negativity, but to face it and befriend it, and to hold it gently with compassion, and to find that as it is acknowledged, it’s true divine nature is organically revealed.

 

The Guide offers us the beloved Gateway Prayer in Lecture 190, which bears repeating over and over, especially in times such as these:

“Through the gateway of feeling your weakness lies your strength; through the gateway of feeling your pain lies your pleasure and joy; through the gateway of feeling your fear lies your security and safety; through the gateway of feeling your loneliness lies your capacity to have fulfillment, love and companionship; through the gateway of feeling your hate lies your capacity to love; through the gateway of feeling your hopelessness lies true and justified hope; through the gateway of accepting the lacks of your childhood lies your fulfillment now.”

 

When I am willing to walk through these gateways, I am able to offer love both to myself and the other, because in truth we are all one, mirror reflections of one another.

 

Have you met the place in you where hate resides? Have you befriended your Inner Terrorist on the path to Love?

 

If you would like to begin or deepen your journey through these gateways to embodying love with an intimate group of like minded souls, I would like to invite you to join me in my upcoming group,

 

 

This group will be offered in two modules, and I would encourage attendance at both modules for the deepest engagement of the work and with others, but you may sign up for just one if you choose.

 

The world needs our Love. Let’s cultivate it together.

Find details here.

 

2 Comments

  1. Beth,
    I loved this post.
    I was wondering also that my hate comes from fear. And this fear is mine, from this existence but it may be also from other existences and generational.
    In my mind it makes sense to befriend my hate to discover love but I cannot feel it in my body.
    There is something between hate and love that I am not aware of.
    Do I need to feel safe first? This also doesn’t seem right because I need to live with uncertainty and safety shouldn’t be a condition to feel love, otherwise I won’t feel love never. Do I need to surrender to love? 🙂 What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    • It’s a process, Silvia, and it doesn’t always happen overnight, but if you surrender to feeling whatever layer is present now, say the hate, it will take you to one or more other layers–fear, grief, etc. before you arrive at love. So you might only feel hate in your body right now, but if you can be present to that, it is trustworthy. It is safe. Rather than needing safety from without, what you might need from others is support. Our group can offer you this supportive space to explore whatever layers are calling to be surrendered to. I honor your courage in taking this on.

      Reply

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