If you have never hated anyone, then you’re a modern day saint. That will be a rare find. Nevertheless, if you’ve been able to put your hatred under check, then you’re the closest thing to a saint. Truth be told, we live in times when people will purposely do things to make you hate them. That doesn’t make sense, does it?—considering that what everyone truly wants is love. As Will Smith said, “throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too”. So, it is a fact, when you let hatred dwell inside you, it will hurt you.
- Uncontrolled hate will land you in serious trouble. We’ve all heard stories, or even witnessed situations where someone acted violently on their hatred and ended up breaking the law. Violence, regardless the incitement, is frowned upon. And if you act on your hatred by lashing out violently at someone or something valuable, you may end up paying a hefty price. Remember, hate is major cause of violence. It is important not to be led on by our hatred towards other people, even when they deserve it.
- Prolonged hatred will impair your health. Hatred ranges from intense feelings of dislike to deeply repressed emotions. According to Joanna Kleovoulou, a clinical psychologist, “the effects of feeling hatred over a long period of time can have devastating effects on your mind and body. Feelings of rage and hatred build up in the mind, body and soul, affecting the body’s organs and natural processes and breeding further negative emotions”. This can affect hormonal activities and cause damage to the immune system.
- Dwelling on hatred will affect your relationships. Even when your loved ones are not the object of your hate, they can still bear the pain of your hatred. When you devote too much thought and emotion to hatred, you end up starving the feeling of love and care. Hate is not the same thing as ignoring someone. When you hate, you actually give undue attention to the object of your hate. By doing this, you end up devoting lesser time to the things that matter most: friendship and love.
- When you spend too much time hating someone, you may actually begin to enjoy it. Okay, I know that sounds absurd, but there so many people out there who are overly protective of their hatred. They’ll defend the feeling with intense passion whenever someone questions them. And when they’re alone, they lose themselves in these fantasies, where they can revel in triumph over their enemies. This is dangerously unproductive and can cause you to be mentally yoked with a person you’d rather not have lurking in your head.
It is needless to state how much self-hatred can hurt you. If hating another person brings a single blow, then self-hatred will only double the blow. The bad experiences that we’ve had can push us to feel bad about ourselves, but we need to immediately dispel any lingering thoughts of hatred. We should rather encourage ourselves to enjoy self-compassion. It is also helpful to employ empathy when dealing with stubborn hatred.
Several people have claimed that hatred is not the opposite of love. Maybe that’s true in some cases, but what we can be sure of is that love will cast out all negative and unpleasant emotions. Ultimately, love will push us to always do good, even to those deserving hate. So, as Jesus Christ said, “Love [even] your enemies”. It sure sounds difficult, almost impractical thing to do. But, remember, you’ll be doing yourself a great deal of good in return.
Through our journey in life, we’ll meet different kinds of people, groups of people also. And some of these people may go on to hurt us badly, even deliberately. Hating them will be a natural feeling in the moment. It may even the right feeling, as it will allow us to immediately understand the pain that’s been caused us. However, the habit of dwelling too long on the feeling will ultimately hurt us. In the end, we may have to prove ourselves better than them by showing unconditional kindness. And even when we fail to push ourselves this far, the second best thing to do is to forgive. However, these opinions do not in any way suggest that we put ourselves in harm’s way. We can always define how much attention we give to people, even when we’re being kind to them. Likewise, forgiving someone does not necessarily mean that we bring them closer. What matters most is this: you do not deserve to bear the burden of hate.