Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance

When People are Hard to Love

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“Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some people are hard to love.  Maybe it’s a teenager who you love deeply, but it’s hard to like her when she’s spewing drama. I remember telling my daughter, “I love you, but I hate the way you’re acting right now,” and “Please lower your volume. I can’t hear you when you’re yelling.”
It’s even harder to love the haters, the racists, the ones who intentionally do harm. But Matthew 5:44 says to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you. Now, I know I’m not persecuted. Not really. But it’s still hard to love the haters. I can pray for them, but love them? How do I do that?
Can I say, I love you as part of humanity, because you are created by God. Can I ask, Could we try to listen to each other with respect?
I have no way of knowing if that would work. And to be honest, I’m not too keen on putting myself in situations where hate is strong. I’d much rather avoid conflict altogether, though sometimes I’ve pushed past the fear.
My heart goes out to the family of Heather Heyer who was killed when she stood against hate in Charlottesville, Virginia. They had no way of knowing  her life would be cut short by an act of violence. It’s hard to know when and how to make a stand – when to push past the fear and when to love people from a distance.

In Trust the Timing, I considered it a victory when I finally learned I could just walk away from toxic relationships that would have killed me slowly if I had stayed in them.
But I don’t want to walk away from my country. I love my country in spite of it’s flaws and with all our different kinds of people. But I have to admit, I find myself fearing the actions and beliefs of some of those people.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center recommends in this article  that if hate groups plan to demonstrate on a campus (or in a city) to ignore them and ask administrators to denounce them. We need to realize that facing hate head on might give haters the distraction they crave to keep from looking at some turmoil stewing inside themselves. I believe that deep down, haters are using anger to cover up hurt and fear. That’s no excuse. That doesn’t mean we accept the behavior. But perhaps this could bring us closer to the love the Bible talks about in Matthew.

“Grief unprocessed becomes bitterness, resentment, and unharnessed fury.  Grief processed becomes an unstoppable force of compassion, empathy, and love.     __Allison Fallon

I have no plans to go into places where hate is strong.

But sometimes hate crops up unexpectedly.
      I want to be ready with love if hate crosses my path.
I want to avoid posting negative comments on social media.
I want to hold up positive stories of people doing good work.
I want to say less about what I’m against,
and more about what I stand for.
I want to remember that peace begins with me.
      I want to recognize any seeds of hate that might hide away in the deep corners of my mind – the lingering resentments from old hurts.
I want to forgive myself and others, to bring the hurts to the light, open them up and see if I can love the hate away and heal the fear and sadness underneath. I can’t do this by myself. But with God’s help, maybe I can let love grow so big that it takes up all the space and seeps into the dark places.

What if that could happen in our country? In our world?

      We can start by finding the gardens of love within ourselves and letting that love grow. Water the love. Nurture it. Give it light.
        I wish you peace and strong growing love.
The above is from my August Newsletter. Here’s one more article of interest:

SOCS badge entry 2017

 

On a side note, please hop over to Linda’s blog and vote for this year’s SOC Badge. My entry is the “Sparkly Stream.”

Click here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/08/17/vote-here-for-the-4th-annual-socs-badge-contest-winner/

 

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

10 thoughts on “When People are Hard to Love

  1. I agree praying is easy, but loving is hard. They don’t know better, I suppose. I also agree that for me, the Southern Poverty Law Center sounds right, and I’m not about to risk life or limb in such situations, because we should flee from situations in which violence is likely, as violence begets more violence. I appreciate the sentiment of Heather Heyer’s mother, in wanting her child’s death to count for something, but there are just too many deaths. The loss of anyone’s life in this way is heartbreaking. I commend the bravery of those who would go in protest, against those who wish to eradicate others, but I’m not one of them. I further agree that we should stay positive, and expect positive outcomes, and post uplifting blogs, photos, comments. There are many people who thrive on turmoil, plenty of sites dedicated to that. I do my best to give people a smile or a laugh because that’s what we need more of.
    Very much share your sentiments today.

  2. JoAnna, this is so articulate and well thought out. You know that I too believe only love can conquer hate. I too believe that hurt and fear motivates the haters to hate. I would add to that, shame. I too, don’t go looking to find a place of hate and undo oit, but like you, if it comes walking down my street, I’ll try to love it out of existence. You are an inspiration with your blog, a very positive influence on those who follow you, including me. Big hugs!

    • Thank you, Deb. I worked on this post quite a bit, trying to find the right words to share what’s in my heart. Your affirmation means more than you know. Being positive is not always easy, but it’s our best hope.

  3. Love is stronger than hate JoAnna, and ultimately Love conquers.. Another way to view the haters, is that they are there to help show us how to love.. For without the opposites we would not experience the other, Love, Hate, Good,Bad, Light,Dark.. Sending them LOVE is hard, but it is far better than joining in that emotion of hating them. For we then are only adding that same energy into the Matrix..
    I agree with ( Learning to live like Water ).. Obviously another wise lady like your good self. who is learning to go with the flow.. And loved how Deb said.. ” Ill try to Love it out of existence ” Brilliant..

    A well written post JoAnna.. apologies I have not been as regular a visitor of late.. But we have been busy with life.. living and loving.. Mega hugs your way.. I so appreciate you. 🙂

  4. I think we are supposed to love our enemies, love the unlovable and care for those who are mentally unstable. Many haters have faced Hate. Many downtrodden have hate due to being oppressed. I feel trying to understand is helpful. Saying I have empathy is my way of showing love and holding on to hope. ❤️ 🌈 🕊️

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