In Part One of What Are We Gonna Do with All This Hate – Live with It Or Heal It?
we read some examples of hate speech, and we began to explore the roots of hate . . . both why some utilize hateful words and why we tolerate, and in some cases participate in, the outpouring of hate.
What are the consequences of trying to manage, repress or ignore our hateful violent feelings? And what effect does this have on our world?
Unfortunately we are often advised to try to “manage” our unpleasant feelings . . . including our sadness and anger over tragic news reports. And unfortunately, there are those who try to evoke our ancient fear and capitalize on it in some way.
If we don’t tease away the ancient feelings from the current ones, these feelings will keep returning to haunt us from our underground. We will run the risk that those feelings from long ago will be evoked at any time, without our being conscious of it. We will run the risk that we might act on those ancient feelings, believing they are current ones. And we run the risk that our actions and choices will be made by the wounded child inside us, of whom we are unaware . . . leading us to act out in counter-productive, and often destructive, ways, like using hate speech.
Try to visualize this . . . Imagine a man or woman in a 45-year-old body shouting, “No! No! No!” while watching a news commentator on TV who doesn’t agree with his or her views . . . but sitting in a toddler-sized chair. Or imagine a man or woman in a 35-year-old body reporting a tragic event on the evening news . . . but from a child-sized school desk.
Sadly, the more we try to manage our feelings, the more they will come back to haunt us . . . and the more we will want to join in on hate speech and other forms of violence . . . which will then grow and spread from one person to another.
SO WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO WITH ALL THIS HATE?
We all have feelings of hate and violence within us – some of us are conscious of them, some of us have them buried deep within, probably from when we were small and powerless. Some of us want to know about them. Some are afraid to know. Some don’t even believe this is true!
Nevertheless, we all have feelings of hate and violence within us. These feelings are signposts to things within us that need to be healed . . . not feelings to be acted upon. Expressions of hate and violence in general or in response to tragic news are not healthy to act out in social interaction.
If you have feelings of hate and violence, don’t act on them and don’t bury them (they will come back to haunt you). They belong with you in a therapist’s office . . . where you can get the assistance to safely express those feelings and purposely, consciously, safely choose to utilize them as clues in your own healing . . . as pathways to your healing.
We can heal “hate speech” and the feelings behind it . . . and we can heal the feelings that lead us to buy into the “hate speech” mob mentality . . . if we are committed to exploring and healing the hatred within ourselves!
But we can do even more than that! If we are committed to go safely to the depths, to the very roots of our hatred and fear, we can allow those feelings to guide us through the passageway to real love. To the love that holds everything and everyone.
You can’t go above or around the hate and fear and still heal it. You can’t ignore or deny the hate and fear and still heal it. You have to go through it in safe, healthy, purposeful ways.
You can’t go through it in your mind alone. You can’t just know you hate or fear and expect the healing to be complete. The mind and its conceptual awareness is just a start. You need to go into and through these feelings in your heart and in the cells in your body in order to truly transform them and yourself into love.
As we exit the month of Love—the month of Valentine’s Day—imagine if everyone would actually do that—deeply explore and heal your feelings of hatred and violence . . . mind, body, heart, and soul. Imagine how much healing would occur within us as individuals and in our world!
© Copyright 2011 by Judith Barr, MS, LMHC. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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