5. Sit with the idea of men’s innocence
Continuing on with the difficult work of dissolving your ego’s deeply held beliefs… it is now time to meditate on the idea of men’s innocence.
You can do this work in layers. It is likely that you have multiple themes when it comes to men that you could hold in your mind. You could hold your abandoning father in your mind for this exercise. Or your ex-partner. Or your rapist. Or just a faceless wall of men. Generally, the strongest emotional charge will come from holding a particular person, or small group of people, in your mind, since it is more tangible and relatable than the concept of men.
Now I want you to set aside a minimum of three minutes, to just meditate on the innocence of this man/these men. See him/them as innocent. Picture him/them when he/they were young. Imagine what it must have been like to be raised in a world that told you to not feel. Imagine the ways that he/they had pain and suffering thrust upon him/them.
Simply hold him/them as innocent in your mind. That is meditation. Just let it be exactly that. There’s no need to rush to false forgiveness, especially if that doesn’t feel true for you at this moment. Just hold them in your mind’s eye, and see them as innocent… even if only 1% innocent.
6. Collect evidence to the contrary
Because old habits die hard, after going through this process, your mind will likely go back to its ways of using the cognitive biases (that all humans have) of selective attention and selective memory. In other words, your mind’s filters will continue to collect evidence that men are truly terrible and worthy of disdain en masse, and filter out evidence to the contrary. Here’s where the long-term work begins to stop hating men.
Consistently make a conscious effort to gather evidence to the contrary of what your mind has collected for such a long time. Gather evidence of men being kind, caring, honest, noble, loyal, just, and loving. More specifically, whatever themes your mind has most held on to in the past, gather evidence to the contrary of that theme.
For example, if you have long believed that “all men cheat”, then consciously gather evidence (in real life) of men who you see being in multi-decade, healthy, loving intimate relationships where they not only don’t stray, but they love their partners fully. This evidence can be gathered from real-life role models, or from people that you see in the media.
Over time, the value from this practice will throw off dividends. It will become easier to see evidence to the contrary of your old beliefs when your mind is more in the habit of seeking it out. Your mind will be less rigid, and your life (internally and externally) will be more filled with love, compassion, understanding, and trust.
Finishing With A Dash Of Tough Love
As far as the ego is concerned, it’s far easier to stay angry than it is to forgive. It’s easier to give up, check out, and stay upset with the world than it is to feel into your residual pain.
It takes courage and effort to lean into these wounds and come out with a lighter heart. But what else are you going to do with your remaining years? Let your pain win? Wrap yourself up in your metaphorical armor and close off from the world? Is that any way to live a life? It sounds like a colossal waste of energy to me.
Again, I’m not invalidating your pain. I fully believe that men have wronged you and hurt you in the past. But don’t let your ego make your pain special. Everyone has to wound from past painful events.
This is just a fact of life. Horrible things happen. Unfathomable pain exists. And yet, every day, people make the decision to let go of the stories that they carry about their pain and they find it in their hearts to move forward, by feeling into and releasing some of their emotional residues.
I want today to be that day for you. You aren’t justifying their behavior. You aren’t saying it’s okay. You’re deciding to set down your pain. You’re deciding to say yes to being with all parts of yourself. You’re letting the weight off of your shoulders and forgiving them for yourself, and for everyone you come into contact with from here on out.
And if you’ve made it this far into the article, then I honor you for that. Thank you for at least being this curious about leaning into this process that you would let these words wash over you. I don’t take your effort for granted. And whatever you do with this information from here on out, I honor that too.
I wish you the best of luck on your journey.
Dedicated to your success and the expansion of your beautiful heart,
How are you planning to stop hating men? Share with us in comments.
Written by Jordan Gray
Originally appeared in Jordan Gray Consulting