I saw a meme about love and hate going around Facebook, and I thought about the fact that people have never been taught how to work with emotions in an intentional and healthy way.
The problem with bashing the things we hate is that the things we hate are a part of being human. We all have the capacity to act in the hated way.
We’ve learned it by watching others and reacting to the feelings triggered by the emotion. It’s easy to say “promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate” but when emotions are involved it’s much more complicated than that.
Hate is an extreme emotion. Like all emotions, it has a purpose in our lives. It shows us the parts of ourselves that we’ve judged as so inconsistent with our core beliefs that we abandon it or label it as distinctly not us. This gives us permission to bash it.
The problem is that the things we hate are a part of being human. We all have the capacity to act in the hated way.
So hate’s job is to show us what parts of being human we’ve denied as possible for us. This denial can (and often does) lead to anger, panic, and violence – from verbally bashing the object of our hate to outright physical assault.
Hate calls us to look within, find that part of us that is human, that part capable of behaving in the way that triggers our hateful reaction… and see it. Acknowledge that we are human and, most importantly, that being human includes everything within the realm of our capabilities. This acceptance leads to compassion and empathy for ourselves and others.
From that space, we can take actions to make real changes in the world.
Hate is a powerful and essential emotion. And I struggle with it every day.
Bobbi McIntyre is a Licensed Dynamic Emotional Integration® Trainer. She lives in Nokesville, Virginia, and offers workshops throughout the Mid-Atlantic and South East areas. Bobbi is a certified Equine-Assisted life coach and a retired US Navy Captain with over 35 years in corporate leadership. Her DEI teaching focuses on empathy and empathic communication skills to promote healthy relationships at home and at work. Her engaging and interactive workshops focus on the wisdom in emotions and how to work with them to create a balanced and healthy life.