According to some religions, it is a sure way to eternal damnation… to hate someone. Besides… one of the great Christian commandments is that we love one another. Nevertheless, try all that we may, the strongest of dislike (hatred) for someone can creep up even in the hearts of the just of us. The ultimate state of achievement is to live in harmony with everyone. Yet, it can seem unattainable especially when you’re in the thick of a very real conflict. The conflict externally and the one warring on the inside that begs the question, “How can I possibly love this person that I truly hate?”
The folk who know me well will tell you that I love easily. My posture is generally and genuinely acceptance of everyone. If I get within a mile of hating (strongly disliking) someone, it is such a peculiar occurrence that I am even startled by the invasion of my heart space. Like… “Really? How did you get there?”
I’ll go on and say right here… I have gotten within a mile of that feeling. I have even gotten within inches of that feeling. Awe… hell-o… I’ve been right on top of hatred a time or two. He and I walked hand-in-hand as he accompanied me through some of the worst times of my life when I was being treated extremely unfairly and targeted in a way I would never have imagined.
When you’re in the midst of a battle like that, the natural (or egoist) reaction is to return the hatred that you feel is being projected onto you. Consequently, that only perpetuates more hatred. The great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best that darkness can’t drive out darkness, only light can; and hate can’t eliminate hate, only love can do that.
You want to drive out the hatred invading your heart or even the hatred projected onto you by someone else, love on ’em and fill your own heart up with lovely things (Reference Philippians 4:8 for some context there). Love is light and light ALWAYS wins over darkness. Always.
But if you clearly want to stay enemies with someone and ultimately remain in your own mental prison/bondage/captivity, keep feeding the hate on the inside. If you desire to see a change and be completely set free, replace the feelings of hatred within you. Dr. King also said perfectly, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” I’d like to add here that Love is the only force capable of releasing you from your own mental and emotional penitentiary. You don’t necessarily have to be friends with someone who has hurt you if you don’t want to, but you certainly can release the negative feelings about them from your heart space. It is not a requirement for you to return to fellowshipping with them, but it is necessary for you to release them.
Besides… hate is a very heavy burden to carry. First of all, it takes up prime property space in your mind to keep a record of someone’s faults. The truth is that the person you hate has their own inner turmoil that they are dealing with and instead of looking within themselves, they are projecting their fears and neurosis onto you. Also truth, there is some good in them that you can choose to focus on.
There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Whether we choose to focus on the guilt in their personality, or the innocence in their soul, is up to us.” – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
To love or to hate. The choice is really yours. Choose wisely.