Thursday, February 20, 2020

When Loving Them Enough to Let Them Hate You...Fails

"Hatred is an affair of the heart; contempt that of the head."
 -Arthur Schopenhauer

Carol Burnett once said "you do have to love your kids enough to let them hate you." Sage words from a mother who went through hell with a drug-addicted child and came out the other side. But where does a parent or other loved one draw the line?  How much genuine hate is a person supposed to endure? How much can one endure?  If a fleeting statement of hatred is spoken in haste during an outburst that stems from an addiction or some significant emotional event, I would say the answer to how long is as long as it takes.  The relationship rewards on the other side are worth it.

But what if that hatred is genuine, heartfelt; indeed a deep-seeded belief?  I don't know what Carol would say, but I say that twenty years of consistent outbursts, insults, and genuine contempt is more than enough.  The question then becomes one of how to respond.   The best response is no response.  I believe hatred feeds not only upon itself, but upon the returned emotion generated from the reaction of the hated target.  I refuse to feed.

The worst one could do is to return any emotion.  Expressing remorse in an attempt to turn the hatred around only feeds and emboldens the hater's chosen mindset.  Even worse is attempting to return the hatred.  Trying to "hate back" simply lowers oneself to the doltish immaturity of the hater.  It serves no purpose.  It  achieves no goal.  After all, I suppose a hater can't be blamed for that which they truly believe.  So to me, the only response, is no response.  Simply check out and walk away.  Emotionally, intellectually, and permanently disconnect.  To do so is quite liberating; especially when the hatred is and always was unjust.  Focusing love and appreciation on those worthy of it and feeling its return is the ultimate reward.