I friend posted about love and not accepting hate. This whole “hate” thing has come up a lot lately. The idea of a “hate crime” repulses me, as if it’s ok to hurt someone physically as long as you don’t hate them. Hate probably is on the rise. I’d agree with that, but why is the real question. I think I have an idea. We are repressing fear and anger, and then disallowing the natural results.
Think about a child through a peaceful parenting lens. When a child comes to you with big nasty feelings like, “I hate Bobby! He’s mean and ugly!” or “I hate you Mom because you won’t let me go to the park by myself!”, what do we do? Do we yell back and say “You can’t hate. It’s wrong and terrible!”? Some people might, but peaceful parents don’t. We realize as peaceful adults that everyone has those nasty feelings of hate and we know where they typically come from. We help our kids by validating their feelings, holding them close, and hearing them out without judgment. We let the light in on it, so to speak. Then we can start to talk about where those thoughts came from and whether or not they are really justified.
Maybe he doesn’t really hate Bobby, it’s just that Bobby wouldn’t give him some of his candy and he was so disappointed that his friend would share. Then we can explore how to handle that nasty feeling of being disappointed. The hate is gone. With kids fear, disappointment, and anger can be swept quickly together and boiled into hate in an instant because they are kids.
With Mom, it’s something else but very similar. You know he feels like he’s being treated unfairly, we acknowledge that. We don’t say, “You can’t hate me!” because we know he can very well hate us. To deny that is to deny the reality of his feelings. We need to accept that at the moment he does hate us. Those feelings are very real and powerful. Then we can explore how we got to that hate. We can go back through the situation, see new things, make some explanations, and move on to a better feeling.
Recently, I’ve found that most people today haven’t had peaceful parenting practiced on them growing up. We all could use a bit of extra love even when we’re hateful and mean. We don’t need one more person telling us that our feelings aren’t real and are unwarranted. We need the time and light to explore why we feel this way safely and come to our own conclusions. I find that giving people space to hate and be angry, validating their initial reactions to things, tends to help people work through the fear and anger that caused them to hate something or someone in the first place more than condemning them for having the feeling in the first place.
Love and respect of everyone’s feelings whether we agree with them or not leads to others doing the same. And loving others in a world of people hating is a great place to start. I’m just trying to expand on that idea and explore how we might reduce the rise of perceived hatred in this world.
I’m sure you’d respect justified hate. A human’s first reaction to the unknown is usually fear and anger. Yoda says that! It’s instinctual, a survival skill of days gone by and probably should be explored. If you accept the feeling of fear and anger, validate them, they are explored better. Unexamined fear and anger can lead to hate. Sometimes that’s a good thing, like when we find out about pain or lima beans, explore them, and come to a hateful conclusion. The only way back from hate is to embrace it with love so that it feels safe to explore. When we feel safe to express our true feelings, generally those feelings change. I can really look at them in the light and see if I need to change my heart towards something. Few people that really know another in person can hate that person (unless you’re talking about ants. I really hate them no matter what, but that’s really a thing, not a person.)
That doesn’t mean condoning violence or aggression towards others. I can feel something and not act on that feeling. Much violence is repressed and unacknowledged hate from anger, which comes from fear and causes suffering. (again, I must be channeling Yoda today). Just as when a child who is told he cannot hate or be angry becomes more outwardly violent towards those around them, so does the adult that isn’t allowed to feel the way he feels. You just cannot repress feelings without dire consequences.