They say that the opposite of love is hate, but that isn’t true. One does not have to hate someone to not love them. There are people we walk by every day without a hateful bone in our body, but if we were to be asked if we love these strangers, we’d probably say no. The opposite of love is something that breeds hate as an effect, but we have to get deeper toward the cause. The opposite of love is judgment. It’s the judgment that we have towards a person or a situation that makes us hate.
Look no further than the most marginalized people in our society. I’m sure if I did a poll that asked, “Do you hate homeless people?”, the percentage of people who answered “Yes” would be relatively low. At the same time, there are plenty of opinions we have about the unhoused that create a barrier that stops us from showing any type of love. We don’t go near them because they are most likely mentally ill and we don’t want them to go “crazy” on us. We say that they must deserve their situation, or how else would they be on the street? They must have done something wrong and are now living through the karma of their decisions. The capitalist in us says that they just need to get a job. At the same time, would you hire someone off the street? These judgments only bring guilt and shame that homeless people spend years trying to swim out of. Yet when we judge as we walk by, we are only reinforcing the identification with their living situation. We could, instead, meet people where they are and give them the dignity they deserve as a human being. The opposite of this dignity doesn’t really sound like hatred.
We talked about self-love earlier in the book. Now that we have established that judgment is the opposite of love, we can easily say that the opposite of self-love is self-judgment. We typically think things like diet and exercise are tools for self-love and self-respect, but again the intention is more important than the action. If you are “overweight” and are ashamed of your body image, diet is not a form of self-love. It is self-judgment. The best thing you can do is accept your body as it is. We’ve also talked about how external situations and material things aren’t going to fulfill any happiness because we are lacking something. We are judging ourselves as not enough and we need these things to feel these perceived needs. Please mistake this as a self-improvement book. I’m not here to judge your lack. I’m here to make you aware of the Love you truly are.