“Hate is a strong word”—I’ve heard this statement often, but have never understood why it’s considered “strong.”
Probably, most of us want to experience our emotions mildly.
Anything intense can get scary for some people.
Hate is an intense feeling, and no one likes to be hated. And today, I have no problem being hated by anyone.
However, years ago, this was not the case. Earlier in my life, if I felt like someone hated or disliked me, I was quick to try and “fix” the opinions of others. I was able to form many harmonious and friendly relationships due to this.
But only after I went deep within, in my spiritual journey, did I realize that it was a lack of self-love that caused me to be so affected by hatred from others. I wanted to love myself through the validation of others. I liked myself when others liked me. I hated myself when others hated me.
And, there were many reasons people hated me: for looking beautiful, for having a good fashion sense, for performing well at work, for being intelligent, for being appreciated by my bosses, for having a loving and caring husband, for having a wonderful family, for my happiness. Though I understood that being hated for these things did not make me a bad person, and it should not affect me, still, the disharmony I felt always made me anxious, and I became judgmental toward haters myself.
Then, I gained a new hater.
My step-daughter hated me for becoming the wife of her father. She even hated my newborn child, as he was not born through her mother’s womb. This led me to go deep inside of myself, for introspection on how it affected me. When we know ourselves better, we also get to know others better. Being aware made me understand the lack of love my step-daughter felt. She wanted her father to only love her and no other child, especially from another woman who was not her mother.
A person centered in self-love feels happy to see another’s happiness. But a lack of self-love, and how we act because of it, does not make us bad people. It was easy for me to say to myself, “They are just jealous.” But as I became more aware, I stopped judging envious or jealous people. Jealousy makes us feel small. Does that mean that we should cut all jealous people from our lives? Well, no, not unless it’s causing irreparable damage. It is possible jealous people can affect our happiness, but if we accept them and share our love, this envy can turn into something beautiful.
When we allow envy, it transforms into pride.
For example, we don’t feel envious when our children are more intelligent than us. We feel proud, because we love them, because they “belong” to us. We only feel envy or jealous when something or someone doesn’t belong to us. When we are loved by the people whom we envy, we feel proud to be their friends or relatives. And this, I feel, is the key to accepting hate.
So, how do we transform hate into unconditional love?
When you feel hate directed at you and you begin to feel badly, catch that feeling, hold it, do not try to distract yourself, and be with the feeling. Go deeper: “Where did I learn to feel this way in my life?”
When we do that, we will most probably find a phase in our childhood where we felt hated by our parents, teachers, or another family member. To survive, we learned how to please people in order to remove that perceived hate and feel love. And then, it became our habit, and then our nature.
When we realize who we truly are, we understand that we are neither good nor bad. We just exist as any other creature does in this universe.
Seeing ourselves as only “good” or “bad” comes from internalizing what we perceive to be someone else’s opinion. Loving ourselves and others—unconditionally—can bring about a productive energy, rather than negative, and we can create wonderful things in this life.
Seeing ourselves as good or bad based on whether or not we get hate, we expect love to come from someone else, and not every time is that expectation fulfilled. And in not getting the love we expect, we feel even more badly about ourselves, which can turn to envy for others who look happier than us.
So, the next time you feel hated, do not start to justify it with all the reasons why you deserve it.
This will only make you play victim, or help you to create a fake relationship with yourself. When we become more aware, compassionate, and loving, we automatically understand ourselves better and we accept ourselves—and everyone else—flaws and all. And only when we are able to accept ourselves completely, we can accept someone’s hate or envy and remain unaffected by it, or maybe even transform it into love.