Better to despise than to hate. Hatred is too powerful. Hate attaches you to the object of your hatred.

Hate Is Emotional Attachment—How To Be Free From Its Vicious Grasp

Hate attaches you to the object of hatred
Hatred poisons the hater more than the hated. (Shutterstock Image licensed to Author)

# 86 on my 99 Life Tips–A List is: Hate is way too powerful an emotion to give to the people deserving of it. It attaches you to them the way love does. This is not a good thing.

Hate attaches you to the object of your hatred. Both hatred and love define us in terms of a relationship, whether or not the relationship still exists. Hatred persisted in is not without this expensive surcharge to the hater. And even knowing this—damn if it isn’t nearly impossible to let it go.

Hatred is murder in the heart

As recorded in Matthew 5:28, Jesus said that if a man looks on a woman to lust after her, he has committed adultery in his heart.

By this same reasoning, using the same application of moral principle, in my heart I’m a murderer. You probably are, too.

Hatred is to murder what lust is to adultery. It is the emotional principle behind it. It may be hot, rage-fueled hatred, or vengeance served cold, but hatred is a symptom on the murder spectrum.

That’s too damaging an emotion to keep, and too powerful to give to those most deserving of it.

Your object of hatred is someone who has marred your world, and has marred your enjoyment of it. To where the mere existence of your object taints the world with a putrid stench. And face it, if you’ve known the depths of hate, given the ability, and with no repercussions, you’d blink and have your nemesis vanish or die a thousand deaths.

[Stop grinning in imagined contemplation. Really. This is not a good thing.]

Ain’t no time to hate

Why you ask? You don’t know they did to me. Don’t I? I’ve struggled with my hatred for years. Finally, I’m realizing the truth in one of my favorite songs:

“Ain’t no time to hate, barely time to wait.”

~ Grateful Dead: Uncle John’s Band

Regardless, and I mean, literally, regard it no longer, look no longer at what was done to you. Focus instead at what still lies in front of you to do. Don’t let another day go by being emotionally attached to someone undeserving of a second thought. That’s what hate is, fundamentally—emotional attachment. Do you have time for that? I don’t!

You are still here. Still standing. That person you hate didn’t destroy you, though they tried. They didn’t vanquish your spirit. Your soul remains intact. They just aren’t all that!

The conditions for forgiveness may not be possible

Am I suggesting you kiss and make-up? Oh, hell no!

There are some wounds irrecoverable, irreconcilable, irredeemable by you or me. There are things that require recompense and repentance for forgiveness to even be thought of, much less have any meaning beyond the mouthing of empty words. And ofttimes, there is no way to exact recompense, and the opportunity no longer exists for the change of heart and mind repentance encompasses. If the forgiveness that yields reconciliation and restoration is impossible, we must leave the offender in the hands of God for judgement, or Karma, or whatever you call sowing and reaping in your tradition.

Move forward as a different person

What to do then if hatred is to be laid aside? What to do if forgiveness is an impossibility?

You move ahead as a different person. The version of you the despised object sought to hurt and destroy survives (!) and yet exists no more in that form or that relation. The new you has escaped the orbit; thus free to be defined by what you move toward, not by what you leave behind. 

You are as free from being defined by that former relation and the hatred it provoked, keeping the bond in place, as a slave is free upon learning of his emancipation, or an inmate upon learning of his release from prison.

The Takeaway

If you must look back, cast a backward glance in scorn, in pity, in disgust. Better to despise than to hate. Hatred is too powerful. Hate attaches you to the object of your hatred. It gives that object power over you by allowing that object to define the terms of your emotional and psychological health. You drag it behind you everywhere you go. That’s way more power than you should give to any deserving of those feelings we call hate. The burden is on the hater, much more than on the hated.

Better to think of them as insignificant, impotent to do you further harm. While seeing yourself as free. Abandoning the hatred is loosing the last linking shackle. Go!

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