There’s something to be said about the relationship between pain and joy being in terms of codependency: one cannot exist without the other. It's commonly said that without pain there would be no joy, and this is seemingly applicable with most antonyms. Hate and love are different though. The field of hate doesn’t have to exist for love stand alone in its glory. I know this all sounds a bit theoretical but with all of the polarizing chaos of life today, learning to love the things you hate can provide transformative relief.
In 2018 I made a New Year’s Resolution to stop holding grudges, to let the past go. This resolution led me to advocate for kindness and forgiveness in my life, replacing the spaces where I normally held onto resentment towards others and even myself. This resentment, frustration, and hate was passive. I never acted on it. Instead, I would play mental reruns of hypothetical conversations and what-ifs for imaginary moments where I vocalized my grudge. Of course, I never did because it was never really worth it. Holding on to these grudges that allowed frustration and hate to monopolize my mental space, exhausted only myself as opposed to those I begrudged.
Hate takes such a large toll on those who carry it with them. Simply put, learning to love the things you hate can allow you to enjoy your life a little more. If you are busy responding to the hate in your life with love, there is little to no room for the hate to grow. Positivity is undeniably contagious. Negativity and hate are heavy and weigh on the soul. In deciding to find love, grace, and forgiveness for those or that which you habitually hate, you become one less person adding hate into the universe. Advocating for love is contagious.
Everyone knows the famous Gandhi quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In a world where there is much to be up in arms about, learning to love the things we hate is more important now than ever. Realizing that those who you feel have mistreated you are most likely fighting an internal battle with themselves is choosing love. Empowering yourself to remain positive and choose love in the face of hate has the potential to create a sort of chain reaction. A more tangible example would be “paying it forward” like when the car in front of you pays for your coffee. This simple act of kindness and positivity encourages you to pass it on and do the same for those behind you. Kindness and love are contagious.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate still tomatoes, and I don’t think I’ll ever love them, but actively learning to love the things we hate when it counts is eye-opening. There is so much less space for hate when you’re busy appreciating the silver linings.