It's easy to say "love others, stop judging, open your heart." Learning to do these things is more challenging. A first step is to understand that we need no reason to love. Love, beauty, wisdom, hope, and faith are not logical; they are powerful forces in the universe, while logic is only a mental tool. If we wait for a rational reason to love another person whom we have defined as enemy, we'll be waiting a long time. When we love our enemies, they will no longer be our enemies. What gets in the way of opening our hearts is precisely our judgments, which come from the logical mind.
A shift in perception, in which we see that all people are doing the best they can, based on their beliefs and their past circumstances, can help us be more understanding. Forgiving and accepting oneself is the basis for extending acceptance outwards. If we can forgive ourselves and realize that aggressive behavior is usually rooted in fear and pain, we can forgive the other.
Expanding Our View
Picture all the cultures of the world as a tall tower; each culture has a window facing a slightly different direction. To get the full view of reality, we need to look through all of those windows.
In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he or she is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual. Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things the person in the center has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. The tribal ceremony often lasts several days. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe.
Questions? Answers? Impressions?
adapted from "The Pathway of Divine Love"