The Toxic Effect of Hate

Hate: To feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone).

I was listening to a Facebook Live this morning and part of the subject matter he was the word hate. Especially when it comes to sports. I’d like to add to the definition of hate from above. Hate is all consuming. You hear the word tossed around in sports all the time. “I HATE Tom Brady”. “I HATE the Yankess” “I HATE the Patriots”. I always ask people “How can you hate Tom Brady?!? You might not like him because he beats you, but he’s an incredible player!” Even when I tell them all the great things Brady has done to help the community, people will justify all day for their hate.

When someone uses the word “hate” I get the same feeling that I do when I hear the N word or R word. It just makes me feel icky. Hate is an incredibly strong word. And we do live in a world that is consumed with hate right now. But where does hate come from? Are we truly taught to hate? And if we are, why? Why teach hate?

When I talk about anything I don’t like, those are the words you’ll hear me say. I’ll put the emphasis in the word really.  “I REALLY don’t like the Seahawks.” And that’s a true statement. But hate? I mean they didn’t do anything to me. And that’s a huge word to describe a group of people I don’t know, who didn’t personally affect my life.

Hate destroys hearts. Look at what’s happening in our political climate right now. There is so much hate right now that relationships are being destroyed, people refuse to talk to anyone that might have a difference of opinion or acknowledge that it’s ok to not agree on everything. Many have isolated themselves to those that only think like them. Fights are started on social media, where strangers feel it’s ok to scream hateful things at someone who dares to debate them. And people justify their hate with a, “well they started it!” mentality. Even if someone else started something, we are grownups who know better than to engage in this type of behavior. I have seen people call others ignorant, ill informed, stupid, etc. because they don’t want to even admit there could be another side that they are not seeing. They don’t want to have a conversation. And that is a very dangerous place when we can’t even talk about why we feel the way we do about certain ideas.

I hear adults talking about a 5-year-old that used the word hate to describe something or someone. And I think to myself, where does a five-year-old even learn to hate? Obviously they have heard the word used often in their homes. They have sometimes even seen actions associated with hate. Sometimes violent actions that they begin to repeat. And as they grow up, what they were told over and over again as a child, begins to emulate in them. People their parents often said were bad, they now believe they should hate. They don’t know why, but when they see the Patriots playing, they just know they are supposed to hate them. They can’t describe it. It’s just what’s in them.

My favorite quote is from Martin Luther King Jr. “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” What a profound quote! Hate produces so much toxic energy in the body. Toxic energy that so many can feel. As I said above, hate is all consuming. For many they are so caught up in their hate, replaying why they feel the hate over and over in their mind, they cannot even think of anything else.  Many times the thing or person we hate creeps into our daily conversation somehow and although the people around us know our opinions, we still continue to justify our hate. Like it’s ok. Hate can also physically affect us. It can make us sick, we can feel a burning sensation of rage inside of us. It’s so draining! Believe me! I’ve felt hate. But years ago I learned I just do not like the feeling of it. So I have found ways to ask myself why I feel the hate? What purpose does this hate serve? And finally, how can I release this hate? Sometimes it means meeting with my therapist but often times after answering these questions I find that I can release the hate pretty quickly and move forward. So much time and energy saved! It does take resources and it does take skill to do this. But life flows so much smoother when not consumed in hate!

Hate is a choice. Do you choose to live in hate? Or do you choose to let go and let the universe do what it will with things? From my own experiences, choosing love is so much better!

Namaste!

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