I don't know about you, but I feel like loving is hard to do. Romantic, platonic, familial, and the love you feel for yourself. Love is so important and it is all around us. It could be so easy to love. You love your best friend, you love your cat. But do you love the person who cut you off in traffic? Do you love the people you hate? The ones who hurt you? Do you love the ones who hate you? Do you love that one customer who yelled at you?
Of course you don't. And I don't either. I don't love them at all. I feel like a lot of people don't want to admit that. I also feel like abusers and bigots use forgiveness and love as another way to abuse their victims. I feel like the word "love" and "forgiveness" in the mouths of those who don't understand what that truly means, and manipulate it into something that makes them seem like the victim in the situation. Suddenly you are in the wrong for being angry and upset with someone. You are wrong for feeling rightful hatred and anger. But trust me, you are not wrong.
Recently, a coworker of mine talked about how she was challenged by a friend of hers to love our terrible boss. Our boss is irrational, power hungry, racist, and stupid. I hate him too, very much. My coworker admitted that his terribleness was taking a toll on her mental health. I can understand that. Someone is so terrible to you that it consumes you in a way. You think about it all the time, it might take over most of your conversations. You dream about it, and you are angry. You hate this person and seeing them and you hate talking about them but you can't stop. It could be your boss, your "friend," a family member, a significant other, or ex, you hate them so much it takes away the happiness in your life. This is what she was talking about, and I know that feeling well. I think all humans know what this feeling is like.
And that is no way to live. I've lived it, and I was miserable. I lived it for many months and I was exhausted. I ended up hating life. It's really hard to not let the hatred consume you, but I did find the answer. The answer isn't easy to come to, and the answer isn't what my coworker was challenged to do. Yes, the answer is love, but not love for those you hate. It is love for yourself. You must love yourself enough to let go of the intense anger and hatred you feel. Because if you truly love yourself, then it doesn't matter what anybody else does to you. You love yourself enough to want to have a happy life that isn't consumed by those emotions. Those who make you feel that way aren't worth it.
You do not owe anyone love or forgiveness after anything they've done to you. That is something you give on a case to case basis, based on what you see fit. But from my own experience, I feel like when you love and forgive yourself, those draining emotions you feel towards others wash away. Or at least they don't hang around as long. They don't consume you anymore.
You do not owe anyone love and forgiveness, and I say it again because this is important. But you do owe yourself that love and forgiveness. So love yourself and move on. Forgive yourself that you feel this hatred, that you experienced what you do, and move on. You are allowed to feel and you are allowed to hurt, but you owe it to yourself to eventually let it go. Don't let that bad customer ruin your day, nor allow someone you thought to be a friend make you feel like nothing. You are deserving of a happy life. You are deserving of loving relationships that fulfill your life. So the sooner you allow yourself to love and forgive who you are and what happened to you, the sooner you can live that happy life.
Don't live a happy life to spite those who have wronged you, live a happy life despite those who have wronged you. Take in how loved you are, take in how happy you are now. Yes, you will still have hardships, but you will make it through because your life is good. Why? Because you MADE it so. You made the conscious effort to think differently and act differently. So, in that case, you will always be happier than those you hate. Because those you hate live in a way that will leave them unhappy and alone and miserable. If you need to seek help, medication, or therapy or another alternative to get you there then you are on the right track. You are deserving of a happy life despite literally anyone who's wronged you.
So hold yourself in love, and let go those who don't share the love with you. They aren't worth it.
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