Hate. It is an emotion that we are told not to feel, not to say, not to acknowledge. The dark side of human nature that we should supposedly turn a blind eye to because if we were to acknowledge hate then we are admitting that we have darkness within ourselves. We are taught to love, to be kind, to be caring, to be honest, to be light. Love is in all things, but hate? Hate can’t be acknowledged or seen, because hate is darkness.
But how is it possible to have light without some sort of darkness? Even the sun casts darkness upon the earth when it is shining bright. Don’t we only acknowledge light because we know what darkness is?
Denying a normal human emotion leaves us with confusion. We are denying ourselves something that is natural, something that happens that is beyond our control. So what happens when we continually deny our emotions? Surely, they don’t dissipate like a bad smell in our kitchen. They are there, and they will continue to be there until we deal with them.
It’s hard to deal with life sometimes when we feel frozen and numb. We look hard to find something to help us feel, help us quiet the hate that rumbles forth from the dungeon we trapped it in. The hate peaks through slowly, through the blood on our fingers that are raw from anxiety. The darkness thickens in the back of our throat and we try to hold it down with swallows of happiness. Sometimes it rises with fury and itches the molars that are clenched together tight. The walls of our mouth are bitten with silent pain because feeling it physically is better than feeling nothing. Yet, the feeling is hidden and drowned out by the silent whispers of what is right and wrong. The whispers of how we should act, what we should look like, and how we should behave. The invisible line of which we are supposed to tread lightly on. Staying on the side of normal and exceptional because if we drift beyond that we are different, and different is terrifying. To balance on the edge of acceptable is hard so we hide and stay ahead of the pain we inflict upon ourselves, and the pain that we feel that is buried within us that we refuse to acknowledge. The power of that pain could tear down the human ideals and something terrible might happen if we let it show.
I have come to realize that when hate is buried it typically results in feelings of anger, depression, rage, sadness, anxiety, and denial. It can also affect our physical wellbeing. Pretending to be okay and happy all the time is a facade that we are expected to maintain in order to be liked and accepted by those around us. Yet, what would actually happen if we were to accept all of the emotions that we are so eager to deny? Wouldn’t we just be relatable to all humans, since we have all felt that hate at some point in our life? Why is it that happiness is okay to feel in abundance, yet hate is something we should never feel at all? Don’t we only know what happiness is because at some point or another in our lives we have felt deep sadness, hate, and pain?
Repressing emotions is more detrimental to our lives than the temporary discomfort we may feel by accepting them. Holding things back only leads to us having more problems physically and emotionally than if we were to be at peace and honor the emotions that we feel deeply. Sitting with those feelings in meditation and focusing inward on them actually takes the darkness and power out of them completely.
Something we as humans seem to forget is that emotions and feelings are related but different. While emotions are subconscious physical reactions to external stimuli, feelings are the subjective reactions our brains have to the emotion typically through past experience. Hence, we decide and are responsible for the feelings we have because of an emotion that arises. It is up to each of us individually to decide how we are going to react with the hate that we each feel.
Are we going to feel anger, resentment, hostility, or rage when hate blossoms within us? What will we do with those hard feelings and reactions? Are we going to deny that we feel hate at all? Are we going to repress emotions that, in turn, give birth to other issues such as anxiety, depression, physical ailments, and more? Or are we going to decide to feel these emotions, acknowledge them, and even honor them within ourselves in order to let them go?
Emotions play out in the theater of the body. Feelings play out in the theater of the mind.Dr. Sarah McKay, PhD. Author of Your Brain Health blog
When we let emotions play their role in our lives and stop trying to ignore them, then we might experience the light in our lives a little brighter than before. By feeling the darkness and letting it play a counterpart to the light, we allow ourselves to live life more fully. We are then capable of appreciating the good because of the bad, instead of denying the darkness for mediocrity in everything else.
For more on emotions versus feelings, The Best Brain Possible by Debbie Hampton is a good blog to start looking at.