I don’t like the word hate.
I’m currently finishing a psychotherapy training and the current module is on forgiveness. This is decidedly the most challenging thing for humans to offer themselves and others. I’ve written about forgiveness before and I’m not going to go into that today.
However, during the meditation part of the module the thought struck me that I struggle because I want some people to be different than they are so they can stay in my life. Culturally, we’ve entered a season where our values are brightly colored on our sleeves. We all feel right in what we believe. The rifts are growing. The violence and fear are turned all the way up. And, some relationships are being tested in ways they’ve never been before.
I read the comments on news articles and squint as if it will change the words I’m reading: You think all Muslims are terrorists? How can that be? You think that LGBT people should be turned away from business or care? That can’t be the case? You want to close our homes to the suffering and dying refugees? I don’t understand this.
I scratch my head at the idea of giving up an already weak public education system to a person that is categorically unqualified.
I tilt my head as my dogs do when I give them an unfamiliar command.
Are you sure we want to live this way?
I cannot fathom continuing to pillage the earth when she is telling us, not so quietly, to stop or we will soon be without a home.
I look at social media and think “Is our president really calling the country haters?”
I do not know how to talk to some people anymore. Literally.
I hate you? No.
I hate this.
I resent them for being who they are, when I ask to be accepted for who I am. I feel anger towards them and towards their values. This is hypocritical of me. I cannot expect that we are all going to fit together in times like these. I was confusing things. I don’t hate these people. I hate that because of who I am and who they are, we can’t be what I want us to be.
I have this image of life as it should be and it never quite maps onto life as it is. This discrepancy is what causes me pain. This discrepancy is what I hate. I think that might be true for most of us. I wish things were different but they are not. I wish that we all fit together but we do not. I wish we agreed but we do not.
I still believe in basic human goodness. I will always believe that whatever the question we should continue to try our best to find our way to love and be love.
But, I think fear is driving the boat and that’s never good.
How can we work on forgiveness and healing? I don’t know that yet.
Under the hate, under the anger, and under the rage, is a deep sense of sadness. A dark cavern of grief for the way things are. It feels eternal and it whispers, “I don’t recognize you anymore”