Hate is such a strong word and the feeling doesn’t usually develop overnight. That is, not unless you’ve been brutally attacked or someone you love has been brutally attacked. It may be then that there is an instant hatred of your enemy. Your enemy can be someone you know or a complete stranger who randomly made you or your loved one a target.
Whomever your hate is directed towards, you may begin to realize that this hate you hold is doing nothing for you.
Where Does all of my Hate Come From?
Most hate develops over days, months and years of being deeply hurt over and over again. Many times this is done by someone you are supposed to be able to trust and who is supposed to love you. It’s likely that this person deserves your hatred. Besides, hatred is a feeling and how do you stop what you feel?
Hate comes up in your heart even when you try your hardest to push it down and deny that you feel it. It gets stronger over time. With every instance of abuse and violated trust, hatred rears its ugly head.
The Stages of Hatred, and Why Forgive
At first, hatred feels good. It feels empowering, like a protective shield that you can hide behind. It’s like an alarm that goes off inside you to help avoid putting yourself in harm’s way. You stay away from someone you hate whenever possible, that is unless you feel strong enough to fight back and defend yourself against further attack.
Your hatred may fuel the desire for revenge so that the one who hurts you can know what it feels like to be trampled on and taken advantage of. You are only giving back what you have received, which is usually not the best answer. You may also feel that by appearing strong they will leave you alone, hopefully without finding another victim.
“Hatred is one long wait.” ~René Maran
But, while hatred can feel good at first, it quickly becomes a bottomless pit that you can’t crawl out of. It becomes consuming and it taints everything, including your thoughts and actions. Hate even begins to mess with the things that would normally make you happy. It’s like a darkness that swallows up joy. Before you know it, the hatred you feel controls you and spills out and over, even when you try to keep it under control.
There’s only one way to break free from the grip of hatred and the solution is not an easy one to face: you must forgive.
Why Forgiveness is the Answer
The word “forgive” brings many questions to mind:
- “Why should I forgive when they aren’t even sorry?”
- “Why should I let them off the hook?”
- “Why should I make myself vulnerable by forgiving?”
- “Isn’t forgiving a denial of how I truly feel?”
We understand how difficult it is to forgive. We aren’t going to pretend that it’s an easy thing to do, but we’d like to help you understand why forgiveness is important and how it will benefit you and help you move on with your life. Read on and find hope.
Mark and Tammy