I heard a quote the other day that I cannot get out of my head…and it’s kinda driving me crazy. I’m sure there are different versions, but the one I heard goes like this…
“Hatred is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Immediately I thought of an event in my life that I have been harboring hatred, anger and bitterness over for years. It was almost as if that quote was said specifically for me. And my thoughts since then have spread like wildfire.
Two tablespoons of oil can contaminate an entire ships water supply…and I think that is what hatred does. It spreads through like cancer, literally ruining everything it comes in contact with. It can be consuming…consuming and affecting every part of a person’s life.
When you are hurt by someone else, it is easy to justify those feelings of anger and hatred. It’s a normal thing to get angry, and I don’t think anger itself is the problem. It’s when, instead of moving on, we clench our fist around those feelings of injustice until our knuckles turn white.
I recently ran into someone that caused me a great deal of pain, contributed to one of the worst days, if not the worst day in my life. It was so strange seeing this person. Though it’s been a little over three years, it was as if time had somehow blinked me back. I felt uncomfortable, and vulnerable, and transparent, almost as if he could see that my wound had suddenly burst back open with a whole new set of emotions and feelings.
This person, though our interaction was less than a minute, seemed happy. This infuriated me. I mean, how dare that be the case. There should be feelings of remorse, or at the very least an unhappy life. I mean, I had been the one left to carry this very heavy burden, so much hatred coursed through my veins, it’s as if my pores almost leaked of it, and here this person was, seemingly unaffected.
And that is where the quote comes in. I had been holding onto all these feelings expecting it to hurt someone like I had been hurt. Which, lets be honest, is never the case. I was hurt yes, but by holding onto all of this hatred I was continuing to let it wound me and consume who I was.
That is also when I realized that there really isn’t ever a period at the end of some sentences. Yes, people move on, and yes time makes some wounds easier to deal with…but those wounds are always there.
Has the different things that have happened to me made me a stronger person? I like to think so. Would I take away the pain and lesson I learned from this situation? Absolutely. Maybe someday I’ll reach the point of being one of those people that thinks every situation has made them “who they are”, but not yet.
I have realized though, that life is to short to hold onto and be weighed down by such anger. Am I never going to have a bad thought about the whole situation? Doubtful. But, instead of holding onto them, I’m learning to let them go, let them drift away, like a leaf caught up in the breeze.
It’s freeing, and makes life a whole lot more fun to live.
So with that I say, laugh and love, and be free and passionate, don’t become so preoccupied with those feelings of hate and bitterness that the person inside is buried too deep to get out.