I think I mentioned that in the summer I’d played the Transformation Game. I played it to understand more about my relationship with someone, but what came up was Hate.
I’m capitalizing Hate because it felt like a villain who had arrived in my identity with no introduction, invitation or desire.
I’ve never really felt Hate before. Maybe there were moments of it when I was going through my typical teenage litany of ‘no one understands me, everyone hates me and I hate everyone, myself and the world’.
I also had a period of self-hatred in my twenties after my first love died…a long story for another time (or in the book).
But I’ve never hated someone else. Nice girls don’t do they? I mean, we get on with people most of the time don’t we? I don’t believe in violence, or revenge or negativity – but Hate seems to be have insinuated himself into my life since I noticed and named him in the summer.
I don’t want to feel Hate. I don’t like myself for feeling it, it’s not how I think of myself. I think Hate is A Bad Thing which causes wars and pain and Bad Things.
But he wouldn’t go away, even when I insisted he wasn’t welcome and explained that he’s not he kind of emotion I hang around in.
Ram Dass said that he’d done years of therapy, which had changed nothing, he still felt jealous and angry and lustful, the difference was, he said, that now he recognised them and welcomed them as friends.
I like this metaphor, and my experience of therapy has been exactly that. I am able to welcome anger when it comes because I know that it there to alert me to one of my boundaries being crossed. Sadness reminds me of loss, revulsion makes me move away from something that could harm me. I welcome those feelings, but Hate has been causing me problems.
I spoke to Lovely Man (LM) who said ‘hate is normal, get over it’. He also pointed out the obvious that feeling the feeling isn’t the same as acting on it. Good point, well made.
- Do you ever feel hate
- Are you good at just accepting it, but not acting on it, or do you resist it like I was?
LM helped because it stopped me resisting Hate and trying to get away from it. I had to get over the fact that I was feeling hate and there was nothing I could do with it and not wanting to feel what I was feeling was just adding another layer of irritation and guilt to compound the negativity.
So then I phoned Nick and asked if he would listen while I talked aloud. We did our coach training together and he’s one of the best ‘just listeners’ I know.
So I talked and he listened and this is what I worked out.
I feel hate towards this person as they have intentionally done harm, caused pain and not taken responsibility for it. I’ve never had that experience before, or not for such a prolonged period of time, hence the fact I’ve never felt so much hate before.
So, Hate is hiding my hurt. I could feel it in my body; it was like a cold stone over my heart and when Nick asked what the stone was doing there, I asked the stone and it told me it was protecting my heart from more hurt.
- Does that make sense to you?
- Is hate a result of pain having been caused?
- Where do you feel hate in your body?
- What does it tell you it’s there for?
As I listening to the cold stone over my heart I realised that it was the perfect heart shield; unyielding, opaque, cold and distancing and hard. Which is actually really helpful as I still have to see the person who inspires the hate in me.
As soon as I realised that Hate was actually a Heart Shield to protect me from more hurt, then the resistance went from me and Hate was welcome as I could see it’s intention towards me was helpful.
I also began to see that Hate acts as a kind of Emotional Disgust. We feel disgust when we eat, smell or see something which makes us physically or mentally revile. Disgust is a useful response as it stops us eating mouldy food or stepping knowingly into dog poo.
So for me Hate is Emotional Disgust; it keeps me away from something that is bad for me, and the person concerned has been and remains bad for me. So again Hate is my friend.
Do I need to act hatefully? No, because I’m aware of the feeling, I can listen to it’s cautioning me, but I can also separate it from my rational sense of what is right and wrong and trying to live by the Golden Rule of treating other people as I’d like to be treated.
Ironically, and obviously, as soon as I accepted Hate and welcomed him in, he’s not as powerful. In fact at the moment he’s very quiet although nothing in the real world has changed. Maybe Hate just needed listening to, maybe once I’ve got the message it has for me, it no longer needs to be so powerful.
I’ve made a decision to do this in the future with all strong emotions I think I don’t want. These are the steps I went through:
- Notice and Name the feeling
- Notice and declare the resistance you have to it
- Then tell yourself to get over yourself, everyone feels all feelings some time in their lives.
- Instead of assuming that you ‘shouldn’t feel this way or that, assume that because you ARE feeling what you are feeling, that the feeling is there for a purpose and that as it’s you, your feelings must be on your side.
- Once you’ve stopped resisting it, see if you can feel it in your body. What does it feel like? Where is it? Does it have a colour, texture, sensation, temperature, weight, size? Really inspect it.
- If you can’t feel it in your body, can you imagine it, can you picture it, as a character, a colour? Or can you hear it? A sound, a voice?
- Then ask it what it has to tell you and listen for the answers.
- Keep listening until you understand the gift the emotion is bringing to you.
- Thank the emotion and welcome it in.
Let me know if any of this makes sense to you..it’s weird I know, but really I feel much less hateful, but I’m also grateful when I do feel hate.