“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.”
Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile
Hate is such a strong word.
You might say you hate Madonna, but really what you mean is you dislike her music.
You may hate someone for something they did to you a couple of years ago and have a grudge you just can’t let go.
A well document incident in my life was when I experienced the relentless nit picking of a manager, who for whatever reason took a severe dislike to me.
As someone who hates making mistakes and feeling like letting everyone down, I became more and more anxious about every action I performed until one day everything came to an explosive conclusion, when she cornered me in a room, to abuse me about my performance.
The ordeal left me broken, withdrawn and unable to string a coherent sentence together.
In the safety and privacy of my own home, I broke down into tears.
After I came round, I was furious with my manager who was about to become a member of a very exclusive list.
The Hate List
This was basically a small list of people who for various reasons in my life had left me with major mental scars of suffering and anguish.
There was no purpose of the list, it wasn’t like I would one day extract bloody revenge from everyone who had wronged me.
(It’s probably worth noting at this point, this wasn’t a physical list like the burn book in the film Mean Girls, it was simply a way to torture myself replaying painful past traumas over and over.
As the years have past, I have found that I’ve thought less and less about the people on the list, but after seeing a Tweet from Zuby, where he shared a list saying:
“People I hate…
(This maybe misquoted by me as I couldn’t find the original words)
This made me think about my own demons and I realised that I too no longer have no hate for anyone.
There is no point holding hatred in your heart.
When I thought about why I don’t have time for hatred anymore, I came up with the following…
Focus own self-improvement
If there is one key attribute I’ve found with anyone who has ever hurt me, is how much it’s driven me to focus on my own self-improvement – whether it’s advancing my career, get stronger/fitter, or just make more time to enjoy more.
The magic when you get into self-improvement is you set your own goals.
When you have goals, you become distracted trying to achieve them.
And when you get distracted you soon forget about those who hurt you.
Feel sorry for them
When someone messed with me, I hoped it would result in some deep-down karma, where they would have a miserable life.
I was wrong.
To me wishing someone will have a life of being mistreated and loneliness, makes you just as bad as the person who caused the pain to you.
My own experiences, has made me a bit too obsessive about my the people I hold disdain for, over analysing why they would treat me in this way.
Often my conclusions have realised deep down their motivations have stemmed from personal unhappiness and insecurity.
And then I’ve actually felt sympathy towards them.
Feeling sorry for someone is empowering, because when you start feeling this emotion, you lose anger towards them, and regain control of any hold they have on you.
Dealing with the past
All the people on the list have one characteristic – they all got on due to prior events.
Dwelling on the past is pointless because you have no control over this.
But you have full command of the present, and the potential it can give you for the future.
My mind has been clouded with thoughts of adversity experienced by the doubters and bullies who told me I was useless, stupid, never amount to anything – for years this held me back.
But as each day went by, each little victory won I knew this was not true.
The past happened, and it hurt, but that pain gave me meaning to strive for more, and it made me realise the best way of getting over the past is to keep focused on the future.
Everyone that you love
After being hurt when a romantic relationship fizzled out I became consumed with developing the ‘revenge body’ I trained hard to look good so she would look at me with envy realising what she was missing out on.
Yet, when I was ready to start my next long-term relationship, I deprioritised working out, putting on on weight and losing muscle definition.
A good long literal look in the mirror made me think, I was so motivated to try and impress someone I dislike, why isn’t such effort put into someone we deeply love?
From that day my drive moved away from showing people how wrong they were and focusing on working hard to let my loved ones share my success.
As I get older, I’ve grown to appreciate this more as people depart from my life, allowing my thoughts to be consumed by everyone that I love.
Because of this I chose:
- self-improvement not self-destruction
- living for the future not living in the past
- family not foes
- love not hate
Acknowledging ‘them’ gives them power
A final reason to not hate is that it gives them power.
It’s a bit like a serial killer or a school shooter – if you think about them or talk about them you glorify their actions and keep them the centre of attention.
Acknowledging those who wronged you gives them power over you, for a while an ex impacted my trust. It was only when I was able to let that go I could give my all in my relationship to the woman who would become my wife.
They have no influence on how I live my life.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
It seems appropriate to quote what Jesus said.
Do the people who were on my ‘hate list’ regret what they did to create those mental scars?
Maybe? Maybe not? (Who cares?)
But if I can’t forgive others for putting me through the worst feelings of my life, then why would I deserve to be forgiven for my own wrong doings?
It may sound perverse, but I’m thankful for the mental scars hurt inflicted by these people, because it led me to getting a greater life.
Without this penance I would be much worse off as a person.
And because of this, it becomes easy to forgive and move on with my life.
I hope you enjoyed my reasons not to hate other people, I hope you can apply some of these ideas in your life so you don’t either.
Until next time wishing you good health and the best success!
<<Check out this post: 7 of the Greatest Life Lessons Everyone Should Follow>>
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