Click here to understand how the words we use are a sign of the internal work that needs our attention.
I met with a spiritual teacher last week. It was powerful. There were a handful of times that I used the word “hate,” and when I did, it was fueled with emotion. She would pause me after I would say the statement, “I hate it when that happens.” Or “I hate malice,” in the context of when I suspect people of have ill intentions toward me (a discussion for another day). I consider myself to have some strong tools, so you can imagine the shame and sadness that hit me when I realized this truth about myself. Darn it – there it is again: that ever-present and gently uncomfortable reminder – I am still work in progress.
We talked about the word “hate”. About how we can choose freedom from that word and the burden it presents. Hate does not serve us. I reflected on this. I believe and teach that forgiveness is the ultimate freedom: for and from ourselves. It unshackles us from the thing that happened to us. It is an action not meant to unshackle the other person- they were never shackled by our pain to begin with – only by their own. The effect of the pain we harbor, caused (accidentally, subconsciously, or intentionally) by another only holds us hostage – and if we do not reckon with it, it comes back and comes back and comes back. Even when we try to block it and control it with words like “hate”.
Hating something or someone makes us feel small and is the opposite of freedom. It returns us to the wounded child who desperately needs our love and affirmation of worthiness. It cycles until we reckon with it – by identifying the source or the roots – and extracting them. Words like hate are simply flags that there is internal work to be done.
I have found work to do. And thank God, I suppose. Because the day I stop finding more spiritual work to do might be the day I depart from this Earthly plane, and I am not particularly interested in leaving too soon.
What I learned from this conversation is that there are places, things and people that have triggered a pain so deep, I have only been able to label my response and beliefs grown from that pain as hate or other low vibrational emotions. This allows a continued assault on myself. Allowing hate in – even if just in semantics – really means I have allowed the pain to settle and fester. If I want to continue to lead and help others rise, I must also continue to help myself rise by unloading the weight that holds me back.
Hate begets hate. Love begets love. I choose love. It was love that brought me to this conversation, love that helped me see I have work to do, love that will support the processing and love that will allow me to forgive – both myself and others. It is love that makes way for freedom.
That is my truth. What is yours?
Whitney Ellison is a thought leader and coach of the Enneagram and Quantum Energy. Learn more about her by visiting her website, wellisonenterprises.com and following her @wellisonenterprises on Instagram.