Please, allow me to explain.
When the story about Harvey Weinstein first broke a few weeks ago, I was saddened, unnerved, and angered. How dare he? I thought. Who did this guy think he was, to harass, abuse, assault so many women? What is wrong with him? It’s inexcusable…horrible!
But I could only allow myself to rage for a short while, because if I rage for too long, I just feel frustrated, drained, and hopeless. Sometimes, when there is something happening that I really can’t do anything about (like the pain that Weinstein has caused the women he victimized), I just have to let it go.
So I chose empathy. I called up that reserve of empathy that’s within each of us, even when we’re deeply angry. I’m not saying that we should call it forth to excuse a violent, abusive person for his behavior. Rather, I’m suggesting we call on our inner empathy to understand the complexity of human nature, and to turn the destructive power of rage into something useful.
In the midst of wondering why Weinstein is the way he is, and why he has done so many terrible things, something else occurred to me. Mixed in with his many problems, compounding them, is this: He is incapable of finding the love he needs. He is incapable of giving the love others need. Did he ever learn healthy love? Did he never learn how to give and receive in a sound, principled, whole, and fulfilling way? He must be incapable of relationships that fulfill his emotional needs and that foster the well-being of others, including the well-being of that one person who should be most important to him.
Once I began to think of him like this, I then realized that so many of us are at least a little like this. My heart filled with empathy for all of you who long for healthy, happy relationships. May you find the love you truly deserve.