It’s always shocking to see so many people lose complete control when it comes to choosing a public figure to hate. Donald Trump has been one of these figures for years and he draws out the very worst in people as they flock to social media and insult, hate and spew all kinds of inner rage upon the former President. It’s well recognised that the focus of our rage is often simply a reflection of the same qualities within us. A rejection of what we don’t like about ourselves.
What an uncomfortable truth.
Hate is a distraction from our own feelings of fear, helplessness, inadequacy, powerlessness and shame. It is a reaction to ones own inner pain. Lashing out at others gives a temporary reprieve from a personal inner suffering but also feeds it towards further, future attacks.
Trumps unfiltered ego, leaves people squirming with discomfort and anger. It gets to the point where a focus on someone like him becomes an obsession, as he draws out peoples prejudices, past pain, deepest shadows into a social media flurry of often vile projections that were always within them and will continue to be, long after Trump has gone. They will simply find another character to release their own anguish onto, still failing to see all they are doing is projecting their own self.
We see this in groups and gangs where a collective group of people in pain bond together for connection. Religion also has its fair degree of hate and is a perfect smokescreen to commit atrocities and attacks in the name of God. A God created in the image of the pain contained within someone. A God that has no meaning or existence outside of that persons inner suffering.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert once said that depression is the shutdown of feelings so you feel nothing. So you don’t have to face things. The same is true in finding an external character or situation to hate. This too distracts us from having to face the things we don’t want to.
Part of the problem is we don’t want truth. We don’t want someone to reveal their own self-obsessed egoic mind. We want a mask. We want the perfect statesman, even when it’s a lie and most of the time, it always is. We don’t mind if former Presidents or Prime Ministers were killing innocent people abroad when they were in power, as long as it’s kept out of sight. The mask and the fake display of virtue means we too can be comfortable in our own mask and fake displays of virtue. No one has to look beneath the surface. We can pretend in an empty but familiar comfort.
If Donald Trump and other characters really are making people angry, especially those critics that don’t even live in America, they are serving well. They are triggering something unresolved in us. Everytime someone jumps on social media and character assassinates someone, they are revealing more about themselves than the focus of their verbal onslaught.
Any obsession with the behaviour of others is a direct reflection of the denial of our own.
Paradoxically, that huge sense of entitled judgement cast out upon someone, leaves anyone that does this open to manipulation from the worst aspects of society, that are experts at steering people’s pain and prejudices into conformity and towards their own agendas.
There is no growth or courage in this existence. Any society worth living in will be one where we can be offended, challenged and better still, demands placed upon us to behave in a way that earns us the right to speak up. Incongruent, hypocritical behaviour is an infection in our culture, from our government through to our society.
We can change this.
It’s really a very simple message with not just life changing results but societal ones too.
Gandhi laid out the message below.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Before you head to social media to attack someone, remember, you will never change someone through hate. The real transformation is in the courage to look at your own life and behaviour before you cast that stone.
Because once it’s thrown, your own pain will be exposed.
Once you start to walk with truth you begin to stop any conditioned reacting. You can then see and seek to change any real injustice from your own position of truth.