From hate to love

We must love one another or die
— from the poem, September 1, 1939 by W.H. Auden

I won’t deny that for some, it is easier to hate than to love. But hate inevitably consumes and leaves nothing behind. Nobody wins. At one time or another, either as the receivers or the givers, we have all experienced hate. I’m not sure what is more unsettling or frightening — to hate someone or to be hated by someone.

But I think it’s more frightening to hate.

I have a mental list of people I intensely dislike, a couple of them probably borders on hate. Who doesn’t have a list? Seriously, folks.

But I don’t look at the list. Why would I? If you semi-regularly look at your list, it will just make your blood boil and fantasies of bloodshed and mayhem pop into your head. What? You don’t think that way? Okay. Just warning ya. I think that way. Just be glad I only daydream about it but don’t do it. Consider it a play on the phrase ‘you can look but don’t touch.’

Over the course of a lifetime, you meet people you end up liking, people you end up loving and people who just rub you the wrong way. No matter how neutral and open-minded you try be around them, they just fucking rub you the wrong way. Yep, I’ve met plenty of those fuckers. We all have. Most of the time, we just wish the buggers would go away. Personally, I just want the buggers to fuck off and die.

But that never happens. So, we have to learn to deal with the people and things that annoy us. Let’s face it, life is about challenges. It’s about facing them and figuring out how to navigate them with the least amount of negative consequences for yourself and the people in your life.

I’ve had my fair share of challenges and I know the challenges won’t stop until I stop breathing. Some of those challenges should have sent me in spiralling into some form of depression. There were other challenges that could have easily landed me behind bars. It would have been so easy to let go of all reason and do unthinkable and unimaginable things to someone. We all have the ability to do that. It’s part of human nature. I have no problem embracing the dark side of my personality. It’s easy to explore without actually feeling compelled to act on it. It’s one of the numerous things that keeps me from being lumped in with the murderous malcontents, psychopaths and sociopaths of the world.

I’ve been lucky enough to never have experienced depression in its most debilitating manifestations. Yeah, I’ve been down about a lot of things. I’ve been deeply disappointed by people and circumstances. And I’ve been angry about a number of things, too. But I’ve never been angry enough to lose all common sense and pick up a crowbar and swing it into someone’s skull. To be honest, I’ve never been pushed to the point where I would lose control. Let’s just hope I never meet the person who has the ability to push that button because I know I will pick up that crowbar. Like it or not, we all have that button.

Thankfully, a part of my psyche won’t allow me to descend into the true depths of despair and hate. It is, literally, physically uncomfortable to live in negativity.

The instinct to fight my way out of negativity is strong. But at the same time, I don’t suppress the negative feelings either. I have to work through them in order to get past them. They have to exist in order for me to deal with them. Ignoring them doesn’t work. Those feelings will only come back later with a vengeance when you least expect it. The threat of it being all-consuming will be even greater.

I’ve had friends and acquaintances advise me to not waste my time and energy steaming over a situation I know I can’t fix. They tell me it will only bring me down. Of course, I fucking know that. The thing is, steaming over something or someone is part of the process of getting on with my life. It has to run its course. The length of the process always depends on the intensity of emotion at the time. It can take a matter of minutes, months or years.

There is truth to time healing all wounds even though some seemingly healed wounds still have the ability to crack open and bleed quite easily. I have one semi-fresh emotional wound that will take a long time to heal. I have my good days. I have my bad days. Thankfully, there are more good days than bad. The frustration and confusion linger but I know there isn’t much I can do. So what do I do? Move on. I need to move on. Being stuck emotionally in place where there is nowhere to go sucks. Given half the chance, it will kill the spirit.

My spirit isn’t dead. Nor will it ever be dead. Even with the battle scars I’ve earned in this lifetime, the spirit shines brightly because love makes it shine brightly. When I have my moments where I ask myself ‘Will I ever find love? Will I ever know love?’, I just look at my friends and family and I know deep down I am loved.

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