The word hate is thrown around loosely. Our children hate pickles or baths. We hate our dishwashers, our jobs... and although hate may be a strong word, offense and resentment is something we all relate to. We walk around with things we're offended by somewhere beneath the surface, and some of these resentments are justifiable. However, harbouring grudges, offenses, and hate is unhealthy and unhelpful.
No matter how an individual has been wronged, hate is usually more damaging than letting go would ever be. Unbroken POW survivor Louis Zamperini said “Hate is self-destructive. If you hate somebody, you're not hurting the person you hate. You're hurting yourself.”
True, the treatment toward you, someone you love, or something you saw is wrong, maybe even repetitive and intentional. The person might be self-serving, a liar... but carrying around hate isn't good for anyone. We want to uncover the truth, stop their behaviour and receive justice. Hate won't get you there. You might need to introduce boundaries, end relationships or apply consequences, but hate isn't the answer and hate won't win.
The more we dwell and ruminate on resentments the worse we feel. We have to let go, for ourselves. Take Officer Steven McDonald, a young police officer who was expecting his first child when shot in Central Park in 1986 after stopping to question a group of teens about some missing bicycles. One of the teens shot him three times leaving him paralyzed. Instead of harbouring hatred he said “I forgave because I believe the only thing worse than receiving a bullet in my spine would have been to nurture revenge in my heart.”
Hate might dictate how you make personal and business decisions and it is a terrible advisor.
Carrying around hate means carrying around triggers. If you walk around trigger happy, and see someone who wronged you - or something reminding you of a wrong - you will get upset or angry, when the truth is this: nothing is occurring in the moment, you are simply reacting to something from the past or a feared future. Let go.
Resentments can lead you to distance yourself from relationships when it might have been important to stay in, explain the offense, work through conflict, apologize for your part and maybe figured it out. But even without a happy ending, you will have tried. Avoiding or rejecting can leave you with regrets.
A hateful state of mind blocks you from seeing any good or a different point of view and robs us of our internal joy and freedom. Love opens up possibilities for understanding and forgiveness.
What if we let go of all the offenses we have in our hearts? We can move on then, free ourselves, and even find forgiveness. Forgiveness can be hard, it might need to be an intentional act every single day after every offensive action, and following every hurt and tear but it will be where we grow, thrive and overcome.
See Also: Do You Hate Your Spouse?