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Warning: much-needed strong language ahead!
Yesterday, as I read the news alert on my phone, I stated out loud, to no one in particular: “Oh great. Another mass shooting.”
And then, I commented to myself: “And it was racially motivated. Fucking fantastic.”
Too emotionally exhausted to continue reading, I plopped my phone face down on the couch cushion and proceeded to watch “Old,” the latest M. Night Shyamalan movie, which I got the distinct feeling wouldn’t make me feel any better. (I was right.)
It seems like everywhere I look lately—and by lately, I mean the last few years—there’s so much ugliness and ignorance and hurt and unnecessary bullshit happening.
But something about the past few months has felt heavy and harder to bear, and even more so, the past few weeks.
Maybe it’s the state of the world. Maybe it’s my attitude. But lately, I just hate absolutely everything.
There’s the ongoing, will-there-ever-be-an-end-in-sight war in Ukraine.
The latest mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, where a white supremacist killed 10 people in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
The potential, but probably-going-to-happen (because certain people hate women) Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade.
The baby formula shortage in a country where the government will soon be forcing anyone with a uterus to carry a pregnancy to term, regardless of what they want or what is best for them. (But good luck trying to feed those babies!)
The still-astronomically-high gas and grocery prices, and the impending doom that is the climate crisis.
Add to that: Britney Spears suffering a miscarriage after years of being denied the right to get pregnant; Naomi Judd completing suicide after years of struggling with mental health issues; Johnny Depp and Amber Heard‘s unhealthy relationship becoming a toxic source of entertainment for the masses; and nude photos of Jesse Williams from the Broadway play “Take Me Out” being leaked online because people (still) have zero respect for consent.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, did anyone see the video of Kendall Jenner’s tragic attempt to cut a cucumber? What the actual fuck.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get it.
I know that this is usually the point in an Elephant article where the author would share some wise, beneficial message about taking the time to notice all the good amidst the tragedy or about having gratitude for those who are fighting the good fight or even about using all this ugliness as inspiration to make the world a better place.
But I’m not that author—at least not today. And this is not that kind of article.
Because at this moment, I’ve just decided to hate everything and let that be okay. I will be annoyed when I need to be, outraged when I need to be, and indifferent when I need to be.
And I’m not going to gloss over these feelings by wrapping them in sadness or gratitude or toxic positivity—or even the urge to take action. I’m just going to sit with my hate. I’m going to sit in all the shitty feelings I have about our world and, yes, certain people in it. And that’s going to have to be okay for now.
It doesn’t mean I don’t care about all of these issues. That they don’t cause me pain or sadness or grief or even gratitude and the inspiration to take a stand, but I think too often we push away our ugliest feelings because we don’t know how to sit with them. To feel hate or frustration or rage or contempt or utter exhaustion without trying to fix it or minimize it or make it go away as quickly as possible.
And when we can’t sit with these feelings, that’s usually when we choose to act on them in the unhealthiest of ways. That’s when hate goes from something we are working through internally to something we are actively inflicting on others.
So, while it doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable, I’m going to allow my hate to stay close for now. To tag along when it needs a friend. Because I refuse to let the opposite be an option.
Who’s with me?