Monday, July 26, 2010

Hate is bad, mmkay?

I hate it when I have important things to say, and all I end up doing is rambling. So lets figure out how to begin. I am not normally a person who hates other people. Like genuinely make you sick to your stomach hate. But there indeed are people out there that I feel this way about. I didn't mean for the dislike to escalate into hatred. I know that hate is a sin, and believe me, I have prayed for God to change my heart. I have thought long and hard about contacting these people, asking for forgiveness, and any trouble I may have caused them.
But here is the thing- I don't want to.
I don't want them to have the satisfaction of knowing that I caved. Especially if they don't know how I feel. I don't want them in my life. I don't particularly want to ever speak to them again. I am sure I don't want to ever see them again. So what do I do? Email them "oh hey, sorry if I said bad things to you while you were ruining mine & everyone's life, and please don't ever talk to me or look at me again?" That probably wouldn't fly.
There is no doubt I have a stubborn streak. I have planned on holding onto this until the day I die. But I know, deep down, that is it wrong. Mama raised me right. She also told me to never forget, either.
I also don't want to give them the power of having this effect on me. That also angers me.
I don't want to be a person full of anger. I like happiness. It makes me happy. On one thought, I should just let it go. But I just can't surrender. Not yet.
This is poop.

This is what I keep reading for inspiration. Along with every Scripture in the Bible that I can find on forgiveness.

Forgive your enemies

Tuesday, 13 June 2006 all I know is a guy named Paul wrote it)

There are some subjects so personal that people have to make up their own minds which way they want to go. Forgiveness is one of those subjects. However, I hope you'll take a moment to consider my argument as to why it's is a good thing to bring into your life. Not because of any religious or preachy reasons, but for practical ones.

We all get cheated, robbed and hurt by other people at times in our lives. Sometimes, the crimes against us come with such intensity, that it makes us despair for humankind. It's natural in such situations to fill ourselves with thoughts of hate, anger and revenge. Any attempts to fight such feelings early on are usually in vain.

But as time is put between yourself and the tragic event that caused such feelings, my advice is to start gently pushing yourself towards pardoning those who've committed wrongs. Like a balloon slowly letting out air, purge your insides of loathing.

Let go of that tight internal ball of pain and forgive your enemy.

"But why should I let them off the hook?" will be the first thought of many people. "They've hurt me and cheated me. Why should I give them anything in return?"

I'm not suggesting you do it for them, but for yourself. Always remember that your time in this world is limited. Twisting yourself up with poisonous hatred is not a good way to live. The reason you should practice forgiveness is because the alternative is so horrible.

I know people, and I'm sure you do too, who collect grievances the way some people collect stamps. They sit at home in the dark and pull out their album of injustices to rage at. Their thoughts are filled with abhorrence and disgust at what those around them have done.

This is a sure path to misery.

Instead, the best way to deal with the crimes of others is to push past the early bad feelings, and eventually find the strength in yourself to pardon the person who committed them. Realize that they're only human, and we're all capable of terrible acts.

I'm not saying you have to like them, be nice to them, or ever trust or see them again. If necessary, you should take steps to make sure they can't hurt you again. But forgive them nevertheless. Simply try to empty yourself of the toxic feelings they create within you.

Some will say this approach isn't realistic - but I believe it's been proven to be again and again.

What theatrical stage are the hard truths of human reality more bitterly played out than on the political one? Yet even here, forgiveness has been shown to work.

A couple of years back, I was sitting in Cape Town with a white South African friend of mine. He explained to me why so many people had a deep respect for Nelson Mandela.

When Mandela was released from his 27-year stint as a political prisoner of South Africa's racist government, he was probably the most powerful man in the country. He could have immediately demanded the majority black South Africans banish the whites from the land. The blacks had lived under a terribly oppressive regime, and could see that many whites had grown rich from this situation. The hatred and lust for revenge must have been overwhelming.

Instead of taking what would have seemed like the obvious route, Mandela preached peace and reconciliation with the whites. He saw the path of revenge would lead to his country tearing itself apart, and instead advised his followers to practice forgiveness.

Here's some of what he said during his inaugural speech upon being voted president: "We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world".

In contrast, look at what's happening in Zimbabwe. The black president, Robert Mugabe, who took over from the previous white-led government, has seized the land of white farmers and done his best to drive them from his country. That nation, once the breadbasket of Africa, is now on the brink of starvation. Hatred and revenge, based on real crimes against the black majority, has led to misery.

You can see this cycle repeating itself in most major conflicts and peace settlements around the world. Look at what's happening in the Middle East. Think about what could have happened had the victors in World War II wanted revenge against Germany and Japan.

You can apply these lessons to your own life. I hope, for your own sake, that you do.

No comments: