20 Questions in 30 Days. Today Q16. You see people with different characteristics – some you like and some you don’t. Can you love one person and hate another? Why would that be a great question?
Did you know that every human being has every single trait. You are both loved and hated for it. The traits themselves have no bias. But people do. So people’s bias determines what parts of you they will like and what parts they won’t. The key here is to see that you have them all.
With children, the more they demonstrate qualities we don’t like, the more we try to fix them. A radical, free spirited child who has a naughty streak will definitely push a parent who was sexually active in their junior teenage years to try to modify the child. The issue is not the love and care that makes the parent care, but the realisation that the parent is trying to eliminate a trait. That causes domestic war between the child and the parent. The child always wins.
A 12 year old daughter of one of my clients posted porn pictures of herself online. HE came to me for advice. First, write down every quality you are judging (this is hate) in her that you really don’t like, and list them and send them to me.
The question is not about subduing his daughter’s aspiration for attention, or desire to fit in, or sexuality if that was a component of it, it was firstly a matter of embracing the quality in her and by necessity, in himself. His wife was on a completely different wave length wanting to attack the school and the daughter for being bad. Obviously it triggered some of her self – hate but unlike him, she wanted to change the daughter and hate the qualities in herself and her daughter.
The second step I took him through was environment. The daughter is exposed to an environment that endorses her behaviour, gives her approval for it and envcourages it. Changing the environment, not to eliminate a trait in her, but to find an alternative channel for it was his mission. Nothing is ever missing, just changes form, so instead of porn pictures, how could she express those qualities in a different way.
That journey involved picking her up after school not to punish her but to support her doing homework, or getting to the next chapter of her day and finding that next chapter was the challenge. Something she loved, something she could get proud of herself in, something that had a coach who knew how to encourage and reward performance. After six months they found a sport she loved. She loved it. And the parents took her morning and night because she loved it. Just as she loved hanging out in supermarkets with that other group of boys and girls. With this there wasn’t a “washing away of her sins” but rather a reduction of them.
Finally, school results could be linked and she chose a different school far away from that “rat pack” who loved porn more than sport.
Along the journey her mobile access was somewhat limited. This was the only controversy. On the one hand she needed it for school and on the other it was a link into that bully crowd. This was interesting. The mother in her anger and rage, driven by fear wanted to confiscate and limit the access to online. But the father and I agreed that this would just send her underground. So, he asked her if he could participate in her online chats, not as a moral accountant but more as a friend. They laughed at the jokes, responded to criticism together and it defused the secrecy hidden from parents who judge, that makes bullying possible.
So instead of secretly monitoring the phone and internet for bad, the dad focussed on, and I must say with great integrity, being a friend. This split mum and dad severely and that became something he had to deal with on a separate level, we’ll talk about that in the next section of this very long article.
BULLIES RULE THE WORLD
It is inconceivable that this statement, “Bullies rule the world” could find itself in print. But the vocal minority, in society and work, are forced to be bullies in order to snap the complacency of the living dead. But these bullies are essential. They are the emotional, the mindless polarity of one sided thing, the like equals love people. They cannot be asked to temper their bullying because they will deny it and claim their behaviour is in the best interests of those they dominate. And the dominated will complain that they are being mistreated and yet, wake up tomorrow and take it again. The bullies are only bullying people who bully themselves and those are usually those who are bullied by what is called “well meaning parents.” It’s not. Parents who put their expectations before love, will always produce a domestic war. It’s like trying to cage a tiger. Even after 20 years in a cage, pacing up and down, if you open the cage, the tiger will, as it was born to do, eat flesh and run for the wild.
Just because we don’t like something in someone, that something doesn’t go away. If we are a person of power and we say “I don’t like people who are rude” we are saying to all we govern, “don’t be rude around me otherwise I’ll not like you and that’s going to be bad for you.” Instead, we can, if we really try, work out how rude is good and not even raise an eyebrow.
LOVE AND LIKE TWO DIFFERENT WORDS
When you hear someone judge their ex partner or mother or father and then talk about how dedicated they are to their partner, you are hearing pure bullshit. If you hear someone say how much they love their partner but not the in-laws, you are hearing bullshit. You can’t love one person and judge another.
Love can however, find a way to manipulate a partner through sex and pleasure into conformity. In other words, if we list every judgement we have about bad people, in seeking conformity we say, don’t be like those people I don’t like, because if you are, I won’t be here.
It’s what I call the cardboard cut out proposition.
See the image below or if you are listening just imagine a cardboard sheet, life size with a hole cut out the shape and size of a perfect partner.
So the cardboard cut out says “as long as you fit through this shape” you are loveable. If you don’t, ie have qualities I hate in someone I judge, or judge in myself or fear, you are not likeable or loveable.”
Now it’s really important to remember that everyone has every trait. This is not a social meme. People put on a positive face in public and show the opposite in private. Which means if a person is required to conform with a corporate meme, a cultural condition at work, or they are a doctor or nurse or airline attendant, they might be showing their best at work and bringing home their worst. For example: some of the most stressed people in the world are those who deal with other people’s problems, such as psychologists, dentists and retail shop assistants. They put on a public front and then come home with the shit face. Then the stress is not only their job which they can do easily, it’s the mechanism to deal with their own shit face at home.
So here we must start to differentiate between loving someone, which is possible for everyone, even a child or teenager, and liking someone which is not essential. You don’t have to like the person you love and you don’t have to love all the people you like.
If someone disrupts your purpose line, does something to interrupt your progress to vision or purpose you will not love or like them. So that’s where you need to do some daily homework, you must love them, otherwise the disruption is not an education in evolving you and you will just collide with a bigger version of that animal in the future. However, you do not have to like their behaviour. Liking it is a different subject.
When we are confused about love and like it makes love really hard because we are saying love and like are connected. I don’t always like myself but I always love it. I don’t like all surfers in Bondi but I love them. I have kids in my life now and I don’t always like them, they can be very mean to each other, but I love them, because I too can be mean and I see how that has benefit to me.
To like your children or family, they will have to fit through your cardboard cutout of them. Lets summarise that cardboard cut out and call it, your expectations. Your expectations block love. So if they can’t fit through your expectations of who they should or should not be, you don’t like them and can’t love them. But they are doing their best to be their best even if they are doing a really shit job of it, or if they are addicted to alcohol or a member of a strict religion, you won’t like them or their behaviour and attitudes. You’ll see, because you know the universal laws, how you can fix them, help them, change them to fit through your cardboard cutout and then they’ll push back and say “fuck off” because they feel judged. So your expectations are your bullshit. They are your barrier, your expectations block you love because they claim that if you don’t like that person, you can’t love them.
Love on the other hand is like X-ray vision. If you see past a person’s immediate behaviour and say, I don’t have to like this person, and because I don’t like them, I will give them space to be whoever they want to be and I will just hold love for them and operate from a further away distance, physically and emotionally, I can feel the love, and yet not judge them.
All Eastern arts at the highest level teach this in some form or anther. Whether it’s Bruce Lee in Martial arts or the Dalia Lama in philosophy or Lao Tsu in living pathways, or Tantra sex in my book, Sacred Love, they are all operating in the premise that you do not have to like the person you love. They can give this different names: Detachment, Enlightenment, Happiness, Joy, Inner peace. It all means, you don’t have to like the person you love.
Sometimes you do like the person you love. When that happens you are engaged at both a spiritual core level of love and an emotional core level of satisfaction. If it’s the right person you’ll call it attraction. But you are wise, you know that emotion is like the pendulum arm of an old clock. Swings side to side. If you like something about someone, they also have the opposite quality sitting in their private side or public side and the emotional engagement will come and go based on how open you are to allow that other side to exist in your presence and how addicted to their work your partner is. If they are a nurse, and really dedicated to being kind and nice and happy and caring at work, after displaying those qualities to get you to like them, as well as love them, the other side of the coin will appear because those good qualities are needed for the children or for work and they must, by the laws of the entire universe, display the opposite to those nice qualities you like, in their private life.
I watched a great documentary. It’s called Around the World in 80 days, and it’s by bike. Maybe not easy to watch if you don’t have the special GCN app subscription, but the guy, cyclist Mark Beaumont, has a book on it and it’s also on audiobooks for fast speed listening. I watched every second to see where the gap would appear between like and love for him. In the doco, the first half it’s all going well, 240 miles a day, 18 hours riding a day, for 40 days, all through Europe and across Russia and China, it seems for him, like and love were nicely paired, he was in his element. But at some point, when you watch, he must cross North America. And like and love part ways.
He’s facing massive head winds, something every cyclist dreads, it slows him to a crawl, it rains, he falls asleep while riding and hits the guard rail. He’s hurting, his body is a mess. At this point his face changes. And like is gone. It’s no longer possible to like what he’s doing. Then the question is does he love it?
And the answer is yes. He reveals this at one point with his really sour expression fighting exhaustion and pain, head winds and rain, when the care truck pulls alongside him and his carer and health supervisor for the trip leans out the van window and asks, “How do you feel.” He replies, and it’s a really important reply, “IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW I FEEL.”
Liking people is the luxury of feeling good about that person. It’s a trivial over exaggerated experience of life that has become the mantra of the young. If it doesn’t feel good, I don’t like it. How do you feel? It’s so powerful.
Today I have the flu. How do I feel? It doesn’t matter. I love you the reader, my audience for love. I love sharing the Universal laws of Nature and I love opening hearts. Like Mark Beaumont, but certainly nowhere near in as much discomfort as him, how I feel is not important.
Like as a priority in life is most people’s default go to for all things. If they like swimming they swim. If they like red wine they drink it. If they like red meat they eat it. If they like someone they show it. And in contrast, that individual, has their dislikes and they voice them with great tenacity. They tell you openly and proudly what they dislike and why. That self obsessive self compulsive addiction to like and dislike means they are run by their feelings and they’ll kill to uphold that position. In this person love is absent. They can only love something they like. And that’s not love. It’s called closed hearted life.
It’s ironic isn’t it that someone with allot of feelings, who can demonstrate great affection can also demonstrate great hate and rejection. And in doing so, have no real love in their heart. Their love is only like. What they extremely like, they call it love. And when there’s something they really don’t like they either try to fix it, or condemn it and try to isolate from it.
Sometimes when I coach a wonderful open hearted person, who has always in their life had love at their core, their partner becomes anti Chris. They don’t want their open hearted partner to be coached even though my client will be so inspired to be growing their heart. The relationship is between a closed hearted “LIKE” based person and one with a big heart. The Like based person’s expectations block their love, and they can only like what fits their expectation and they call this love. The other person, my clients, are always open hearted and want to live more of it rather than be oppressed forever by the Like and Dislike tic tock of their partner. This revelation usually only happens in the mirroring of teenage kids. As a parent tries to do what they’ve always done, which is to force a child through a cardboard cut out of expectations, at last the child can say, “love me, or else.”
I’ve been able to move through allot of personal relationships that would have bound most people for a lifetime. I don’t advocate the move on philosophy because it can be mistaken for running away. But once my three children and their mother became a force I had no control over, I found my power shifted to the realisation that the power I had as a live in dad, was now in the hands of someone else, their step dad, and I had to find another form of power with my children. And that’s why love is so different to like. I didn’t know my own children, they were away on a forever sailing trip and so, the option to merge love and like went away. At first I was in excruciating pain, because like and love to me were one in the same, my expectations and my love were one topic. But without the option to like my kids, I was left with only love. It was then that I came to realise that I’d mostly expected my kids, and forgotten to really unconditionally love them. It’s what separation causes.
I do not like my ex, or necessarily any of them. But I promise on my life, that I deeply love them. I wrote about it in Sacred Love, where I describe these ex-partner connections as love pockets. Mostly I can say I also mostly like them, but never more than, love. The attraction, which is like, is gone.
The closed hearted person can’t love someone they can’t like. It’s a mechanical life. Their feelings dictate their relationships. It’s intense, stressful for them and painful to watch. They bully and force others through the cardboard cutout and if people don’t meet their expectations then they are rejected, or brutalised if they are their children. Until the kids become teenagers and push back on the ice wall of expectations.
My step mother was a real alcohol drinking Irish fire stick. Wow could she lose it. Physically aggressive and wild as they come my dad had his hands full. Once in a while on a Sunday morning their would be a quite calm in the house and when my brother and I surfaced from our bedroom the usually action packed home was quiet. We’d be instructed to bring a cup of tea to my dad and Helen’s bedroom and they’d be all smoochy smoking cigarettes. In these moments I really saw my dad liked her. Obviously they’d had a shag. But for the rest it was war. I can see my dad didn’t like her. But they stayed together for 10 years of hell. It seems, a shag once a month was all my dad thought he deserved. There was definitely no love. My dad loved only two people in his entire life, his mother, and my mom who died. He never moved on. In fact, after 3 marriages, my dad was buried 60 years later with his first wife, my mom. Sounds romantic such loyalty but you must wonder about the 3 marriages after that, my mom wasn’t a love pocket in my dad’s heart, she was his heart. His life, his heart, stopped loving, the day she died.
I the spirituality of leadership, there is a need to separate love and like. When I started my management consulting firm, BGBW, our first big project involved a family business. I lived onsite for 3 months reshaping their manufacturing and dealing with 5 brothers all of whom worked in the business, and the drama of the youngest being appointed by the founder of the business, their father, as the new CEO. It came up in one personal session with one brother that the founder had crossed a sexual boundary with one of his granddaughters, who was 14 years old. Everyone knew but no one spoke about it. I met her and things were not going well. I called a family meeting and advised that this should be dealt with properly but they refused so I resigned. In retrospect, that decision was one of my worst of many I’ve made in my career.
I made that decision on the basis of not “liking” the people, the grandfather and the process. I judged. I wanted them to toe the line to my expectations. I was young, empowered, ignorant of the real essence and responsibility of leadership. In retrospect, I could have done more as a role model rather than as a dictator of principle. I could have loved those I didn’t like. Not only that, I walked away from $100,000 of work we needed, so my emotions, expectations, feelings really hurt the business. Spiritual leadership holds itself accountable for both the financial but also the spiritual wellbeing of those they lead. That means, love and like must be separated.
I don’t have to like everyone I meet. But it’s my mission to love them. And using the tools from Innerwealth, I am able to do it, 100% of the time.
Once many years ago before Napoleon was born, I was in Byron Bay, with my beautiful partner. We were invited to dinner at her bestie’s gorgeous multi million dollar ocean front home, together with her lover. (she won the home in a divorce settlement) Her lover had the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger, conspicuously steroid driven. His work was a bouncer at a local bar in Byron. At this dinner table he was punching way above his weight socially but as the new screw for the bestie he was there. Anyway the meal wasn’t on the table, and he and I sat side by side. When he said “people who eat meat are pigs” which I thought was strange given we were about to eat roast lamb. I smiled and thought, “weird.” The next thing I knew I was on the floor on my back with a knee in my cheekbone (its a technique to suppress someone into submission) he screamed as I morphed between consciousness and not,”apologise” “apologise” – To cut a long story short, I did. I still don’t know exactly what or who I’d insulted with my smile, but, he released me. I got up, my partner and I left the building, and had to make a decision. Police? Go to his shack and burn it (reprisal for my lost dignity) or hospital (I couldn’t move my jaw). We decided hospital and drove to Surfer’s Paradise by which time I’d stopped shacking and was wishing I’d done the reprisal route. We checked into a hotel and tried to forget the matter.
Months later I was still dreaming of ambushing this bastard and with baseball bat, giving him a dose of his own medicine, which I am capable of. Instead, after losing sleep, for two months, and being in a state of hyper alert due to the anger, humiliation and unfinished rage at the violation – I sat down and calmed down. I’ll never like him, but I knew I could love him.
First – nobody does to me more than I do to myself. Shit, that’s a big call in this situation. But I searched and found it. My beautiful partner, as gorgeous and likeable as she was, I knew she was constantly lying to me and so, the whole trip was a farse. I knew it, and so, I was 100% beating myself up for even being there.
Second – Everyone has every trait. Nothing is missing just changes in form. Therefore, where am I this steroid taking violating bully. I went back through my life and wow, even though I’ve never touched another human in violence, I have the darkest humour, sarcasm, that bites. And, as a businessman, I have ripped the guts out of competitors, without a single second thought. I’ve also run hundreds of retreats where people’s illusions were smashed to shit and I just justified it will some heartless rhetoric that it was good for them and that’s what they’d paid for. I also recalled my divorce and the legal proceedings where I used money to try to punish my first wife for her beliefs. It flooded in, until I thought, “shit, I am him.”
The challenge was to revisit all those situations, one by one and rather than forgive myself, find out how my ugly behaviour that matched the steroid guy benefited everyone. The meme in my brain of “-Do no harm” fought back, no no there can’t be a benefit. But there is. And I ended up thanking Mr Steroids, not in person, but in my heart. I finally loved him but certainly didn’t like him.
5 years later, the Bestie at the dinner event, my beautiful partner’s best friend contacted me and asked me to testify in court against Mr Steroid, it seems she’d got pregnant to him not long after that and now he was after her, the house, the child and massive money. She was arguing using his numerous violence offences including against her and his years of threat to her. And my testimony would crack it open. I loved this lady but didn’t like her. I chose not to play either side of the fight. I loved them both. Now, you can say I validated his behaviour, and maybe by spiritual leadership, you can argue that case. But I also didn’t treat her as a victim and believe me, she volunteered for all the pleasure she got from him. And now, regretted it.
Love operates way about the Like and Dislike. As the bike rider displayed, during one of the most extraordinary physical achievements I can name, Mark Beaumont, said “feelings don’t matter” and to that we can add.
End of question.
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