Not long ago, I planned a "project of hate" which I believed would take me all over the world. I have observed, no matter where I have lived, that the community around me shares a hatred for some other group. Oftentimes it is purely geographic, but without exception, there is some form of distrust or loathing on the part of the commonwealth for some other outside group. I believed I could go around the world following the "thread of hate" from one group to the next. I never did it because I decided to do A Love Rebellion instead.
This is what makes our present unpleasantness so challenging. No matter which victim is pointing the finger, no matter how much good they have done in the world, they too are guilty of this act. There has been too much violent, exploitative history between people for too many centuries for this not to be the case.
It is the one thing we have learned over the course of human existence, how to hate when we feel threatened. The key is to learn how not to feel the threat, or, at the very least, not to act on this fear as it reads in our newspapers, plays on our televisions and in our movies, and runs through the veins of our politicians. Even the people who call themselves "healers" belittle other groups in order to prove that they are somehow above this all-too-human condition.
So I go about breaking myself open, again and again, to learn how to heal, how to love, how to be there for myself without judgment, because that is my practice. I walk in this pain as the soles of my feet pulse with the sadness of the earth. I breathe in the chaotic air that whips through the trees, encouraging the birds to flight. I cry as often as I can, and let the toxic lessons I have learned throughout all the painful episodes of my life run down my cheeks.
I am endlessly becoming a different human than I was, and this endeavor has brought so much richness and life to my experience, but it has also brought loss, ache, and great sacrifice. I learned hate from the same people from who I learned love. This is the underlying conflict for all that I feel. I have come to understand that I both love and hate who I am. My hate is based in lack, disappointment, regret, and resentment. My love lies in comfort, success, and engagement. Both live within me, and always will.
Presently I resonate more with the pain and the loss of the people around me, but I know there is an end to this time. It is my hope that someday all humans will find that the thread that is easiest to follow is one of love, and that I might make a project out of that commonality.
I think about living in a place where the people all share a love for another group so fiercely, that that loved group is inspired to kindle its own flame for another group entirely. It sounds crazy even as I write it, but I am forced to hope that it is possible. I am forced to believe that one day we can stop seeing each other as competition for scarce resources and start seeing each other as potent collaborators.
There is so much wasted creative genius in the race of humans. Wasted in wars, in planned incarcerations, in exploitation of the weak and less fortunate. I know this as I know my own bones. As I know my own waste. As I know my own creative genius. I am no different than anyone else.
That is why I still have hope.