Today's Exercise: Send Love to Someone You Despise

Love is Powerful     (Photo by Paul Crouse)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do you really want to change your life, and the world, for the better? Send love to someone you despise.

By sending this love, you are in no way approving of this person or their actions, or forgiving them for what they may (or may not) have done. You are not “loving” this person or “in love” with this person. You are simply sending the energy of love.

This is an exercise in rattling your cage. You will be directly confronting your ego, your prejudices and self-limiting beliefs that are blocking your path. It is also an exercise in changing energy dynamics.

It is a spiritual solution to a human problem: You cannot solve human conflict, and the conflicts within your heart, with hate. But you can do so with love.

The Problem

The world is full of people hating each other. Turn on the TV or get on the Internet for the evidence. You won’t have to go far.

Whether it is in international politics or inside of your family, there is probably someone you despise. You can’t stand them. They have totally different beliefs than you, or do things stupidly, or have done something bad to you, or you simply don’t like them.

Maybe you are in open conflict with them. They say and do bad things to you, and you return the favor. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” said Gandhi.

This is a negative energy pattern. They do something negative and then you do something negative in response. This sort of energy pattern is destructive.

You cannot overcome a negative with a negative. But you can overcome a negative with a positive. 

Why Do This Exercise?

This is an exercise in directly confronting your ego and prejudices. This is about you, not them.

I assume if you are reading this, you have the desire to change your life for the better. 

Your thoughts create your reality. If you want to change your life, you have to change the way you think. Your ego does not want to do that. It likes things just the way that they are -- even if it is destroying you.

Think of this exercise as taking a baseball bat to your ego and smashing it. The bat you are using is actually love, compassion and attention. 

This exercise is often a very difficult one for people. Decades of reinforced conditioned thinking tells you to send hate to the people you despise. Remember that these people are souls on the journey of life just like you. They were beautiful babies just like you were. They have the same basic hopes and desires as you. They want what is best for themselves and their families, just like you.

How It Works

The chi (life energy) flows where the mind goes. This means that your attention focuses your energy. 

If you think you hate someone, then the energy of hate goes to that person; your energy of hate. And when you are sending this hate, you are basking in the energy of hate. The opposite is also true: when you think love, you send love and you are immersed in love.

Hate rots the soul. Love feeds the soul. You do the math.

Consider this metaphor: When you turn on the light, the darkness disappears. 

This is an exercise in learning how to turn on your own light.

You have a choice. You can live your life positively or negatively. Just because everyone around you is negative does not mean that you have to be. 

Remember that the light fills in the dark -- your example of living from a place of love will have a positive influence on others just by your existence. You don’t have to go preaching or anything. Your vibes will change your environment.

How To Do The Exercise

Since this can be a difficult exercise for some people, first choose a person to send love to that you do not know personally, like someone famous -- a politician, a business leader or a celebrity.

Sit down in a quiet place. Close your eyes. In your mind’s eye, picture the person you are sending the energy to. Say out loud: “I am sending unconditional love to Person X with no expectation of anything in return.” 

Imagine a beam of white light coming out from your heart and going into the heart of that person. Focus your attention on this. Continue for a few minutes. Breath consciously. When you feel it is time to stop, bring your attention back to your body. Wiggle your toes. Say out loud: “I am finished with this exercise. I am no longer connected to Person X”

Take note of how you felt during the exercise. What is easy or difficult? Did you have a negative emotional or mental reaction? Did you have any feelings on your body? How do you feel right now?

I suggest doing this exercise several times, focusing on different people each time. When you are more confident, choose someone you know more personally.

Similar Exercises

This exercise can useful for people you are having a conflict with, but who you don’t hate. You might get an insight during the exercise that turn out to be the solution to your problem. Just sit down, be quiet, open your heart and send the love. Do not focus on the conflict. Focus on the person and the love.

You can also consciously send love to those whom you love. Look at a picture of your loved one, open your heart and click “send.” Doing this will strengthen you both. It is very enjoyable.

Finally, you can use this technique on yourself. Sit down and be quiet. Focus your attention on your heart. Imagine a brilliant bright light there. Then imagine that light getting bigger and covering your whole body. Say to yourself out loud: “I am sending myself love.” Do this for a few minutes. When you are finished, bring your attention back to the current moment. Notice how you feel.

By sending yourself love, you heal yourself. This is not vanity or narcissism.  This is a way of strengthening yourself and living your life to the fullest.

With all energy exercises, say out loud what you are going to do, do it, and then finish the exercise by stating out loud that you are finished. It is like turning the key on and off in your car. (And taking the key out of the ignition!)

Choose To Change

You always have a choice, even when you don’t think that you do. You have the natural ability to change your life situation. If you are living in a sea of negativity, you can choose to live in a positive way. And by doing so, you will be in a much better situation to help others.

Love is the most powerful energy.  Use it wisely.

(Important Note: If you have been a victim of violence, I do not suggest doing this exercise toward your abuser without guidance. There may, or may not, be a time in the course of your recovery for forgiveness. I strongly suggest you work with a trained professional to help you on your path. This sort of exercise might do you more harm than good if you are not ready).


Paul Crouse

Paul Crouse is a spiritual teacher and advisor, life coach, writer, speaker and photographer based in Kyoto, Japan. He helps people who consciously want to change their lives for the better. He helps people build a strong inner foundation, while helping them to clarify and achieve their goals. He works with people worldwide via video calling or face-to-face in Kyoto. He also leads workshops and seminars, both online and in person, for organizations and companies.