Hate has been a constant conversation lately. Between race issues, police shootings and shooting of police and our fucked up crazy political system, all I hear lately is hate-filled rhetoric on Facebook, Fox News, the RNC Convention and even from the liberal press at times. This has caused me to look deeply at my relationship with hate and also to have some meaningful and amazing conversations about hate.
First what is hate? Webster defines it as ” intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury”. My dear friend, the Honest Courtesan, Maggie McNeill said, “Hate is when fear and anger are left to ferment”. I think she nailed it.
Hate is a complex emotion, one, that in my opinion you can’t have unless you care deeply about the subject or person that is creating the fear and the anger that has turning into hate. When we let our fear and anger ferment and take over the places in our heart that are filled with love, than all that’s left is hate. I read an article that said that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference and that you need love to be able to hate. Which makes total sense. The people I’ve talked to recently who “hate” Donald Trump are coming from love for their country and the people who live here. Those who “hate” the current uptick in racism that seems to be taking us back to the 60’s, are coming from love of their family and the amazing variety of cultures and ethnicities that make up our world. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
One thing that has arisen from the conversations I’ve had, is I discovered that I seldom feel hatred for anyone or anything. When someone asked why, I had a hard time articulating it at first. Then I realized that hate resides in my heart, just as anger and fear reside in my full body. A long time ago, I chose to not allow anything but love into my heart. It’s not been easy. I slip up and hate worms its way in from time to time. However, for the most part I don’t hate because I don’t allow fear and anger to fester. Righteous anger needs to be expressed. And I do so. And while I’m not totally fearless, it’s hard for me to fear much of anything. When I feel fear, I do whatever it takes to make me feel safe again. I’m a huge advocate for self-care. I am constantly, actively expressing and dealing with my fear and anger, so there is no opportunity for it to turn into hate.
I don’t hate Donald Trump, or the young man who committed the Orlando massacre, or the police who murder people of color “in the line of duty”. I can’t. They were all babies at one time. They were all innocent at one time. Something happened and they were damaged and that damage created who they are in the present. I don’t have to like them. I can be angry at them. I can fear them. And I can’t hate them.
If you are consumed with hate, it stops your actions. You no longer are able to articulate the problem and move forward finding solutions. Or it intensifies and turns your actions into something so destructive that it eventually destroys you and again no solutions. We cannot allow hate to be the driving factor in how we deal with the current elections. We cannot allow hate to take control of us when we are trying to create social change. We simply can not allow hate.