Would you be any more shocked if I started this post with FUCK – another four letter word I know I shouldn’t say, but still let slip sometimes? SORRY.
I just can’t believe I feel compelled to write about HATE – a word I hardly ever used until it started creeping insidiously into my (mostly silent) vocabulary a few years ago. Muttered under my breath, screaming loud in my head at times. I’m thinking if I write about it now, I might just write it out of my mind, my heart, my life forever. I might break what I fear is turning into a tendency to hate (now that’s a bad habit).
Until the last few years I would avoid using that horrible word HATE, I’d avoid even thinking about it. The only thing I despised was the word itself.
‘We don’t hate anything, we dislike some things,’ I tell my daughter – proper advice from a mature mother.
‘We certainly don’t hate anyone, even if we dislike someone’s behaviour,’ I add for good measure.
All the while I secretly despise the fact that the dishwashing water has gone all mucky and I still have half the dishes to do, that my son has taken my phone out of my bag (again) when I’ve locked the house and he’s already in the car and I’m running late, that the toast dropped onto the floor butter side down (of course) when instead of HATE I should just settle for a shrug and a quip ‘Murphy’s Law’.
I’ve found myself ‘hating’ the smallest, most inconsequential things, as if I’m looking for an accumulation of little things that will somehow add up to a life that is not what I want it to be.
All this when my life is really pretty good. You see what I mean about a bad habit! What is wrong with me?
In past years I had a ‘genuine’ focus for the anger and fear that comes out like venom in the word ‘hate’. Now it seems it lurks in my bloodstream like a virus, ready for me to spit it out in a snake hiss at the slightest provocation.
I felt totally justified in ‘hating’ infertility – in loathing its unfairness, the intrusiveness of IVF, the agony of waiting for results, the heartache of negatives, the dull throb of ongoing failure. Perhaps I was a little justified in hating the intrusiveness of the adoption system too – that horrible feeling of being judged, the uncertainty of it all.
I was never justified in hating myself, but I managed to do that pretty well at times.
And now it seems, as much as I hate to admit it, it’s become a habit.
I think of HATE as an emotion that gives expression to fear, that gives anger an outlet. Fear can be just a general uneasy feeling in the pit of the stomach, while anger can eat you up inside unless released (or healed). HATE allows us to direct fear and anger towards something or somebody (often ourselves). It allows us to give fear form, even if it’s not ever pretty.
But it still doesn’t ever serve any useful purpose. Intellectually, spiritually I know that, and so I ____ the way I still find myself feeling it.
I must say that I do tend to reserve my hatred for inanimate objects, annoying circumstances, and (unfortunately) myself, although I’ve even caught myself thinking in moments of blinding anger that my intense dislike for my children’s behaviour could morph, in that instant, into something more. And I stop it.
So what is the antidote for such a nasty habit? Love of course, along with forgiveness.
I want to banish that despicable word from my mind, my memory and of course the world (maybe a little harder).
That word, that shall henceforth remain unmentionable, will be gone, never to return along with all trace of abhorrence and any self-loathing that lingers.
In its place I’ll always try for LOVE and understanding, and if not then plain old LIKE and forgiveness, and if worse comes to worst I’ll allow myself just a little bit of disdain and the odd four letter word, followed by that sometimes hardest of words – SORRY.
Oh and I’m working on getting rid of regret, guilt, and shame – the usual bad guys lurking in my past – and fear, worry and judgement, standing like spectres over my future.
Gone guys – out of here all of you. Ghostbusting!
To err is human, to forgive, divine – ALEXANDER POPE.
Will you join me in banishing the baddies?