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Do You Have to Love Everybody to Be Spiritual?

photo: Maryland GovPix on flickr

photo: Maryland GovPix on flickr

Dear Meli,

Being spiritual has a lot of “shoulds” that come with it. Take this one, for example: “Spiritual people SHOULD be able to get along with everyone.” But what about difficult people? What about people from your past? In my case, I’m talking about my ex. She wasn’t awful. The relationship didn’t work because we’re not compatible. But I don’t really want her in my life. Not only that, I don’t even want to talk to her when I’m situations, outside of my control, where we are both in the same room. What do you think?

Exhausted with My Ex

Dear Exhausted,

I think any “should” is worth questioning. I find many “shoulds” do not line up with what I think is true.

That said, kindness is a great practice.

That said, staying away from people and things that feel bad to us is a fabulous, self-loving practice! It may even be a way of loving them more, because if you experience grief in their presence, it’s likely to be a mutual thing.

One practice I recommend, regardless of how much time you spend in their presence, is to practice looking for what you appreciate about them. This is not to ignore your feelings, just to keep it real. You loved this person enough, at one time, to have them as a primary person in your life. There must be some redeeming qualities there!

I suggest this not for them, but for you! If you are feeling terrible when you are with someone, then you are telling yourself things about them that simply aren’t true.

This is one of my favorite Truth’s. I made it up, but it’s true for me, anyway. If I am feeling bad, I am believing a lie. This is true whether I am feeling bad about someone else or myself.

The Divine would not tell the same story.

It is a beautiful, and nice-feeling, practice to decide to look for the story the Divine would tell.

Honestly, there are people I would rather avoid. But when I’m with them, or feeling terrible about them in any moment, this practice is what brings me the most relief.

May the Love that you are win – when you’re with them and when you choose not to be!

Blessings to you on your journey,


Ever have a problem “ex”? How did you handle it? Share your comments below!

Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at meli@ohmygodlife.com


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4 Responses to Do You Have to Love Everybody to Be Spiritual?

  1. Becka August 11, 2015 at 6:41 am #

    I’ve had this technique of finding something to like/appreciate about someone work really well at easing my discomfort. Practicing Metta helps me too. And of course, honoring my desire to not want to be around them!

    • Melissa Phillippe August 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

      Hey Becka!

      I LOVE that practice! :-) Amazing how easy it is to find the good when that’s what we’re looking for/through…;-) For other readers, can you explain Metta (ha-in 20 words or less…LOL). Really though….I know it’ll be ‘s helpful if you can!

  2. Becka August 11, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    I can explain Mettā in less than 20 words:

    Mettā is a technique for cultivating love and compassion for oneself and others.

    Instructions take more than 20 words though. 😉

    1. Awaken loving kindness in yourself by saying out loud or in your mind, “May I be healthy, happy and at peace,” or put this aspiration in your own words. Practice feeling the truth of the statement.
    2. Awaken loving-kindness for someone for whom you feel sincere goodwill and tenderness. “May (name) be healthy, happy, and at peace,” or put this aspiration in your own words.
    3. Awaken loving-kindness for a friend, again saying the friend’s name and expressing the aspiration for their happiness, using the same words.
    4. Awaken loving-kindness for someone about whom you feel neutral or indifferent, using the same words.
    5. Awaken loving-kindness for someone you find difficult or offensive, using the same words.
    6. Let the loving-kindness grow big enough to include all the beings in the five steps above. (This step is called “dissolving the barriers.”) Say, “May I, my beloved, my friend, the neutral person, the difficult person, all together enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.”
    7. Extend loving-kindness toward all beings throughout the universe. You can start close to home and widen the circle more and more. “May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.”

    This is based off of Pema Chödrön’s instructions in The Places That Scare You.

    • Melissa Phillippe August 12, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

      WooHOO – Becka! THANK YOU for this clear explanation!!! :-) (I figured it would have to be more than 20 words, but you did a great job making this concise and clear!) THANKS! <3

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