Hatred and misunderstanding occurs when someone attacks you in a severe and undeserved manner. For most of us, it’s one of the most painful emotional experiences we encounter. Not only are you the subject of a very personal kind of venom, the accusations are not true (hence the “misunderstanding”). Most of us avoid any kind of conflict so we don’t have to feel hatred and misunderstanding—however that takes away from your authentic power. This tool lets you turn hatred and misunderstanding into a strengthening experience.

Focus on the attacker. If they’re not present use a visualization of them. Now, in your imagination, turn them into a white cross. Keep the verbal and emotional venom they directed at you coming, however, now it’s coming from a white cross, an object rather than a person. Imagine a very old man with a white beard, let’s call him “Father time”; holding the cross.

At the same time imagine a black cross in your chest. It should form an indentation, a cross-shaped trench. The old man with the white cross walks toward you. As he does, feel the pain of the attack coming off the white cross and entering the black cross in your chest. The old man says “you can stand this.” The closer he gets the worse the pain gets. Finally he puts his white cross right inside your black cross. Surprisingly, once he does this, the energies merge and your pain stops. Your heart expands and subsumes the crosses. You’re left with a pleasant vibration in your chest. The old man smiles at you and says “congratulations.” You say back to him, “Thanks for making me stronger. I only care what you think.”

This tool takes a personal experience and turns it into a mythic experience. This not only makes it less painful, it empowers you. From the egos perspective, “Father time” is the author of all the events in your life, especially the painful ones. His true purpose is to destroy your childish habits — each event is an initiation. In this case he’s destroying the secret desire we have to be adored by others. Without that neurotic need we’re less afraid of others’ opinions — we can express ourselves more authentically and fully. The “growing up” process the father puts us through is always an “initiation,” into an expanded and higher level of awareness The cross isn’t a religious symbol, in this exercise. In the ancient world it symbolized death — in this case the death of your ego and the death of judgement and reactivity. If the cross makes you uncomfortable pick a different symbol, the tool still works.