“Hate is only a form of love that hasn’t found a way to express itself logically.”
Let me shock you for a second by telling you who said those words. It was the one and only Lil’ Wayne. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either; a profound statement from the man who brought us chart-toppers like, “B*****s Love Me.” But seriously, he speaks the truth. I believe there are different kinds of love and hate, but under the same circumstances the types exhibited are equally matched.
Before I continue on, I have a disclaimer: I’m no theorist. And despite my tendency towards flowery writing, I have no intention of sounding profound. I’m merely an athlete and a human who finds comfort in words and expression. This is for me, for anyone who cares to read, and for those who (by some coincidence) share my sentiment and experience. So here it goes…
I’ve maxed out my ability to hate. I’ve tried out of curiosity and misguided necessity and, believe me, it doesn’t work. I’ve tried out of my futile quest for comfort. I’ve heard it’s an easy train to get on, to help you forget and keep moving. I’m simply incapable of throwing my anger at someone to banish him from all corners of my mind.
Hate is a consuming thing, and it typically achieves the opposite of what you’ve intended. Instead of letting you go, it consumes you and ties up everything good. It’s also a cover and a barrier, guarding what you don’t want others to see.
Show me something good that’s come from hate. Bullying, violence, wars? We can’t win.
James Baldwin said,
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hate so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”
Hate is selfish. Think about that “woe is me” attitude. When you hate, you’re the victim of your life. You believe the world is against you, and you justify your crap throwing by seeing others as the culprits of your sadness.
Contrast that with love. Keep in mind that when I say love, I don’t mean passion. Passion is crazy and exciting and messed up all at the same time. Passion drives irrational thinking under the guise of love.
Real love, however, comes after passion. It happens when fire turns to ember and what is left is something comfortable and maintainable. It’s consistent and calm and, above all, something solid to stand on.
When some people talk about love, they mention feeling a “spark”. Okay, fine, maybe initially there is a spark. But, my goodness, people WAKE UP! A spark is nothing, if you think about it. A spark is just a flicker of possibility! There’s no future or consistency in a spark. A spark has no fuel for a flame. It cannot be maintained unless it takes. And if it can’t eventually turn itself to embers, a spark has nothing going for it.
So back to my ramble on love…or whatever I’ve come to know of it.
I found a bracelet a few years back with the words “Live in Love” on it. Those words are perfect, and I choose to do just that. It doesn’t mean to live passively, “mopey,” or sappy. It doesn’t mean to live with one constant emotion like some sort of freakish Stepford personality. It means to live with respect—respect for myself, for my friends, for those who’ll throw their anger at me, and for the greater world I find myself in.
You can’t heal through anger. Holding onto anger is the emotional equivalent of continually ripping off a scab, never giving it a chance to heal.
Love takes time and patience. At the risk of becoming sentimental, I’ve subscribed to the belief that with love and patience you can heal all wounds. It won’t happen overnight; it’s an uphill battle at best. But the comfort of love outweighs the volatility of hate.
I have too much going for me to consume myself with hate. I’d rather put my energy into love and understanding.
Hannah Follender, author of this post, is a 25-year-old aspiring professional skier, touting bachelors degrees in both Conservation Biology and Government from Saint Lawrence University. She grew up in New Jersey, but currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her free time skiing. She will soon be competing in the Freeride World Qualifier Tour, with the ultimate goal of making it to the Swatch Freeride World Tour next season. This article was original posted on hannah-follender.com, and has been reprinted here with permission.