American Sniper is a great portrayal about one man’s internal war, a war to deal with his own emotions following his experiences of war.
When you watched this movie, what emotions came out from within you as you watch them? What did you feel? Anger? Rage? Fear? Sadness? Compassion? Love?
Emotions are the substrate or base of our entire existence. Emotions give meaning to everything and from them are birthed the thoughts that we think, which in turns drives our behavior. Emotions are also the most critical thing which affects our physical health too, because emotional energy over a long enough period of time will manifest in the physical body as a symptom or sets of symptoms, which we call disease. In simple terms, on the highest levels of consciousness, emotions can literally cause disease.
What does this movie have to do with our health though?
This movie can offer us a reflection or glimpse of our own internal health. This movie brought out some very powerful negative emotions for many. One of the most powerful emotions that this brought out for some people was HATE.
Hate is an emotion within the family of anger. Our health problems largely are a reflection of different emotional energies that have long been held within us that now are manifesting physically in the body. Our health symptoms in the physical body are a mirror to get us to pay attention to our inner reality. Sadly, many aren’t paying attention.
What are the emotions that you felt when you saw the “savages” as they were referred to numerous times in this movie? Did you feel hate? Did you feel anger? Did you feel rage?
In war, we have enemies, because we typically don’t fight against our friends. Many wars are fought as a result of lower levels of consciousness (awareness) fueled by anger, hate or greed. Our response to this energy or these emotions offers us a reflection of ourself, a look at the context of our life, rather than the content. The emotions that come out of us are a reflection of us to us. No one “makes” us or “forces” us to feel anything. They are our emotions. They arise from within us. We can’t blame others for OUR emotions. We choose them either consciously or subconsciously. Getting healthy internally means taking responsibility for what comes out of us and what is inside of us.
When we hate our enemy or anyone in our life, we really are just hating ourselves.
If others hate us and wish to kill us and we respond with the same energy of hatred, on an emotional and energetic level we literally are no better than the ones that are hating us. Our own hatred is a reflection of what we have within our own heart. We need to be aware of this in order to let go of it. Feeling hatred is committing emotional murder against someone else and towards ourselves. It is a reflection of ourselves, as seen by these tweets below (please excuse some of the language).
A very radical person once said that the true measure of emotional and spiritual growth is if you feel this one single and powerful emotion towards your enemies.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is also quoted as saying this:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Love your enemies. That is a truly radical and seemingly difficult thing to do. Anything less than the feeling of love coming out of you is a reflection of you, not your enemy. Can you love your enemy? Do you love your enemy? The way to start loving your enemy is by taking responsibility for the hatred in your own heart and letting go of it. We aren’t just at war half way around the world; we are at “war” within ourselves towards anyone in our lives in which we feel anything less than love. It is easy to love or like those that love or like us. When you see your own reflection in the person that doesn’t like you or maybe even hates you, what comes out of you? What is the reflection, the gift that someone is offering you by seeing yourself?
Rather than fight hate with more hate, perhaps we can try the more radical concept of letting go of what comes out of us that is anything less than love. We don’t need more war, we need less war, and that starts within each and every one of us.
“Love your neighbor as yourself”
Loving others is 100% percent conditional on our capacity to love ourselves first, as it is energetically impossible to love something outside ourselves more than we ourselves.
May we love those that hate us and in doing so, truly love ourselves in the process.