Memories and the past consume our lives. Some of it is good. Recalling some events in life bring us wonderful feelings of nostalgia and happiness. We sigh happily as we remember the moments in our life when we were truly happy.
And then we have those moments when we weren’t. The times in our everything that happened in the past cannot be changed and it is time to move on life when we were consumed by sadness or anger. Things so volatile that the act of thinking of them can bring back all of those feelings of hurt, rejection, or anger. We seethe and burn remembering some slight from years long gone.
When I was a teenager, I had the displeasure to be forced to spend the bulk of my time with a particular group of people. These people were hateful, vindictive and took great delight in hurting those around them. The adults were worse, and it wasn’t unusual for me to be made fun of in front of total strangers by the adults. I was a very quiet, shy girl, so I kept all of my hostile and angry feelings inside and to myself. I never let on how hurt and enraged I was, but inside I was seething. In fact, even after getting away from these people I was still angry. I still hated them for the way they treated me and the few other people around me. I could not look back at that time without a rage burning in my breast. I would work myself up into an angry state simply remembering those years.
And for what purpose? There was nothing I could do to change it, there was nothing I could do to resolve it. These people have long since passed from my life and the chances of me interacting with them again, are slim to none. So what do I hope to gain in hating them so much? Certainly not a sense of well being.
My hatred was not hurting anyone but me. The negative feelings consumed me and made it near impossible for me to move on. I could not hope to receive an apology from those people, and even if I had it, it wouldn’t make me feel any better. I would still be resentful of what happened before.
There have been several instances in my life when I have felt strong hatred and anger. Most of them completely justified. We’ve all had moments like that. But what do we gain in hating things of the past? Ulcers? Sometimes the people we hate are people we still have to interact with on a daily basis. If the person in question is no longer the person you hate, how can you justify holding on to the resentment? How can it be healthy?
I had to move on. I had to forgive. No, not forget. But forgive and move on. Hate in your past only serves to make you bitter. Our hatred doesn’t make anyone else suffer but ourselves. We aren’t punishing the people that hurt us. Our hatred doesn’t affect them in any way. But it certainly hurts us. It makes it impossible to move on. It makes it harder to see the good things in life. A past full of hatred makes the future bleak.
It’s hard to let go of your hate. For many of us, it’s almost a comfort. As long as we hate the people who have hurt us, we feel as if we are getting some sort of revenge. And oftentimes, the hatred is familiar. It’s been there so long that any other feeling associated with that person is foreign and sometimes terrifying. We feel that as long as we hate that person, the person in question hasn’t gotten away with what they did.
But actually, they have. The fact that we spend so much energy hating those people shows that they did get away with it. They did hurt us, and they did win. Because it means that much to us.
It’s time to let go. It’s time to take today and realize that everything that happened in the past cannot be changed and it is time to move on. To stop hating what has happened before and concentrate only on what can happen in the future. Will there be more hate in that future? Unfortunately, yes. Hate is a part of life. It’s when it consumes you is when it needs to be removed.
No, I haven’t let go of all my hate. I’m not perfect, nor am I an angel. But I have recognized that it is unhealthy. I know that there are some things that will never be fixed and there are some feelings I will never let go of completely. However, I also know that there is a time in life to move on. And that time is now.