You know those things you just cannot stand? Where you think, “how can anyone stand this?”
This can be anything: A taste. An event. An experience. A type of person.
In moments of experiencing these things, we often use the word “hate.”
I don’t find myself using this word often – and don’t get me wrong, I am a very passionate being. But I lean towards not having any feelings about something rather than flat-out hating it.
This attitude has come from me practicing bringing my stress and panic levels down.
It’s not that I don’t hate anything, it’s that I rarely see the benefit in reacting to things from that negative space.
Reacting is what has landed me in heated conflict that has led to hurt feelings, terminating relationships (both professional and personal) and consequences that take longer to gain back than they did to “earn” them.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that hate is usually driven by a hurt or passion that sits inside of me that I am leaving unacknowledged.
It’s not that I have no opinion, it’s that holding on to hate isn’t serving me.
And honestly, it just doesn’t feel good to hate.
Now, before I get too high up on the pedestal: I still lose my temper about things internally all the time.
I still think in moments of hurt and frustration: I fucking hate this.
But I am always trying to go deeper to see what this hate thing is all about – what is sitting in there? Where is this coming from?
Below, is the step-by-step procedure I use to dip into the hate… and then release it:
- Ask yourself: what’s going on?
I treat these scenarios like I would a concerned friend. I ask myself what’s going on and have a full-on conversation with myself – and it doesn’t always come to light right away.
At times, I must calm down or just sit with the wave of anger that comes and let it slide through me silently. Every time I let myself just sit with the hate, I realize there is another piece associated with it. There’s something deeper happening in me that’s causing me to have the intense feeling, whether it’s fear or something else.
- As you sort through the pieces of what’s happening, pause with each piece.
It’s never obvious for me right away what’s happening inside of my body. I need time to sit with the feeling to understand it.
As I sort through the plethora of feelings my body is experiencing, I pause with each one momentarily and examine it the way I would a purchase I’m considering. I take my time in this part.
Usually when I hit an item that seems “too bright” – or in this case maybe too painful or frustrating – I know I’ve found the thing that’s at the heart of the issue.
- After identifying the “deeper issue,” face it.
One of the things we do when we’re afraid or hurt by something is avoid it, and refusing to acknowledge it, thinking it will go away. That if we just pretend it’s not there, it might disappear, right?
Think of your feelings like a boiling pot of pasta. When you put pasta to boil over heat, you’re waiting for it to cook. But what happens if you leave it or don’t turn down the heat? It boils over. It overcooks. You’re left with soggy, overdone pasta and a stove now covered in burnt water marks.
The more you let an intense feeling boil inside of you, the more destructive you become outside: burning things, soggy-textured pasta and a distaste for life around you. When you face the intense feeling, you avoid the “boiling over” symptoms, and the hurt/consequences are usually much less severe.
- Write 5 positive things that came from this experience/thing.
As you face your demons or intense emotions, it tends to lift the shadow that seemed to cast over it. It gives you a “fresh start” with the thing.
Once you’ve gotten here, and sitting with the feelings isn’t difficult, ask yourself how you can see things differently. I usually challenge myself to list 5 positive things that came from the experience – and slowly I see myself starting to appreciate the experience for what it is, rather than “hating” whatever brought me here.
And from there, the hate naturally dissolves.
Reminding myself that the hate, the things I fear, or any feeling that tend to “put me out of commission” – it feels like they take over my body – these are all just signs in my body that I am ready to grow.
Intense feelings are my body’s way to bring something to the surface and move through a process – and the discomfort I feel leads to a lot of relief and gratitude for the feeling once I move through it.
It can be hard to remember that in the midst a bad day or an extremely frustrating moment or situation.
I’d love to hear from you: what other intense emotions are “signs” for you that you’re about to move through something? How do you deal with them?