30 Days of “A Year of Living Your Yoga” — Day 3: Accept Your Ability to Hate

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Welcome to Day 3 of my new blog series. This series is based on Judith Hansen-Lasater’s “A Year of Living Your Yoga.” While the book has 365 quotes, I picked only 30.

I chose the dates in the waiting room of my kids’ dentist. I rolled dice and arbitrarily chose dates based on the numbers that showed up with each roll of the dice.

I also had the pleasure of sitting with a Turkish grandmother who didn’t speak any English. We managed to communicate in a female, maternal way that transcended any real words. I used a “bee buzz” sound to describe my middle son, a steady hand / ocean wave motion to describe my youngest and oldest sons and then we “spoke” effusively about the World Cup. “Keeek! Keeek ball! Futbol!”

I will try to keep these posts to less than 500 words. (These words don’t count — ha ha, nor does the quote.)

Here is the quote:

September 2 — If you want to be loving, first accept your ability to hate. Love and hate are the opposite ends of a pendulum swing and are related through passion. To allow yourself to love fully, today resolve to accept your ability to hate. Do not act on that hate, but rather notice it as a part of you, and let compassion surround it.

Oy.

Thanks for reading. Goodbye.

I am glad she has said this. And that she has a PhD. For so many years, I’ve said to my children when they yell, “I hate you!” that they can’t say that word, “hate.” It’s not a nice word, no one likes to hear it, and we often tell people to stop saying it when they are really feeling that deep and profound dislike, quite powerfully. I think now, and I will allow it in myself, that the kids can say it, as long as they understand that the emotions behind the word are ephemeral.

I feel like, when I say that word, that what I really mean to say is “hurt.” That I am so hurt, and sad and feeling so raw and exposed that the only thing that can come to mind is the opposite of the sense love that I want so badly to feel instead.

I have known, personally, that hate exists. I have felt hatred for people. Then it softens to annoyance and then pity and then I think maybe, forgiveness. Forgiveness is important. But Lasater isn’t talking about forgiveness. She’s encouraging us to feel everything, not act on anything, and then surround all of that feeling and non-action with compassion.

That will take some time, Judy.

But she’s on to something. Hate’s a pretty freakin’ strong response.

We say it all the time, as much as we say “love” probably; “I hate that guy… ” or “I love those shoes…” do you really? Do you really hate that guy? Enough to cast him out all alone forever with no one to speak to or relate to? Do you really love those shoes as much as you love your pet, your SO, kid or your spouse? Would you rather be with them and forsake all others, should the proposition exist?

You can’t have hate if you don’t have love. I know this to be true. My heart has been broken many times, and it’s only the hate that comes on when I know my love has been trashed. But then something happens, the memory fades, the hate turns to what it really is: sadness and then I accept it and can move on.

It’s important to allow the existence of hate though; otherwise we end up living in la-la land. Evil people and hatred exist. They cloak fear. They are what gives fear legs.

So before you decide to hate something, ask yourself, “What is making me so sad?” or “What am I so afraid of?” It’s that deep-inside stuff, those real feelings, the kinds that make your gut churn… those. Listen to them, they are begging you to hear them and let them come out. “What is making me so upset?”  Own it. Then you can begin to move on.

Thank you.

2 responses »

  1. Great post, Molly! Hate is a touchy subject to talk about. I haven’t put any sanctions on the word either. Like you said, it’s transitory and sometimes we love and hate someone at the exact same time. Or like liver…I hate liver. It’s a strong word, but in the case of liver I feel totally justified in using it.

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