“If you want to forget something or someone, never hate it, or never hate him/her. Everything and everyone that you hate is engraved upon your heart; if you want to let go of something, if you want to forget, you cannot hate.”
C. JoyBell C

I’d like to say that I have never experienced the emotion of hate.  But I have, as I am sure many of you have.

Keely gets upset and is quick to say “I HATE (insert name, activity etc…).   At age 12, HATE is easy to conjure up because it is pure emotion.  She may hate Noodles the pig because she peed on her rug, but in fifteen minutes she is snuggling with her.   Emotions between friends are volcanic at that age, I just listen to her and know that the person she never wants to see again will probably be at our house next weekend.

I did the same thing.  When I was younger.

As I got older, circumstances and actions had to be pretty severe for me to even get close to that emotion of hate. Once I got there, it was really hard to get over it.

But over the years I learned some things:

I learned that I really don’t like the dark and negative emotion of hate.

I don’t like the fact that hate puts me in someone else’s control.

I don’t like that giving in to hate takes away the light and happy that is my life.

There have been a few people in adulthood that I have truly hated.   Except for the most recent, I felt a righteous and justified anger at their actions.  I was the victim!  They were evil!    Since I don’t have any contact with them it has been relatively easy to let go of that hate.  As I write this, I can honestly say that I don’t wish the plague on them anymore, and hope they are doing well.

I have struggled over the last few years with my feelings about someone.   I have to be honest and say that she is the injured party.  I was sorry that she had been hurt.   There are all kinds of whys and wherefores for what I did, but her anger was justified.  The thing is she never stopped being angry.  For years.

She attacked.  She crafted comments to my blogs, which I never posted.  She either made up names or used someone else’s emails to continue blasting me when it became inadvisable for her to comment under her own name.   This went on for years.    I got tired of being attacked.  I got pissed.  I got angry.  It became very easy to feel justified for what had happened, and I certainly didn’t feel sorry for her anymore.  I never emailed her, I never responded.   But boy did I have some conversations in my head!  It was easy to hate her.  But it wasn’t an active hate.   The only time it reared its head was in response to one of her attacks.

Last year it happened again, but this time I responded and I confronted her, we had a flurry of emails back and forth and then it was done.   I blocked her email and went on with life.  Getting the chance to respond directly to her was cathartic.

I’ve seen a side of her that I imagine very few of her friends or family have seen.   What I saw was the angry and vengeful side of her.  And that is all I saw.  I didn’t see funny.   I didn’t see helpful.  I didn’t see loving or loyal or all the other things I’m sure she is.

A few days ago I got a friend request from her on FB.   Well that was a shocker.   Was this a mistake?     I thought about it for a bit, and yes curiosity got the best of me.   I accepted the request, but I also sent her a message asking if it was a mistake.    I took the opportunity to look at her FB page.

She is in a relationship.  She loves her kids and grandkids.   She has friends.  She does a lot of outdoor activities.  She cares about the environment, she likes beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  She felt pain when she lost her dog.

She responded to my message pretty quickly, yes it had been a friend request made by mistake.

But I’m glad it happened, and I’m glad a took some time to see her as perhaps closer to who she really is, rather than the person I made her into in response to the hate and anger in her emails.

Now I know FB is not a real picture of our lives.  But I took ten minutes to get a glimpse of her world, and you know what?   I was really glad to see that she is happy and doing well.  I hope that she is able to fill her life with good and healthy emotions now.  Sometimes doors have to be closed in order for others to open.   I would venture to say that all of the parties involved are happier now.

So what is my point?

Hurtful things can be done and said.  I’ve got a couple of friends that are going through this right now.  It’s very human to react, and then it escalates.   There is a strong need in us to have the last word, to tie all of the hurt and anger into a neat package, deliver it, and to walk away.

But it NEVER happens that way.   The recipient ties up their own vicious package and pretty soon it is game on.   Even if the direct communication stops, there are conversations in your head.   Admit it.   How much time are you investing in that failed relationship? How much time discussing with friends?  How much time have you spent looking them up on the internet or Facebook?   And what could you be doing with that time?  You will never get it back.  Think about that.   Think about all that time spent on something negative.

I’ve said this many times.   No one is all bad.   Or all good.   Take an honest look at the other person and realize that God put them on this earth for a reason and He loves them.  They are not all bad.  They hurt, and fear, and love.  Maybe they don’t share your core values.   Maybe they lashed out at you and said or did deeply hurtful things.   You don’t have to love them or even like them.   But don’t hate them.

Perhaps they were put in your life to teach you some lessons and allow you to grow.  So absorb that lesson learned and move on.  And yes, I know this is much easier said than done.   Sometimes it takes years.