The Art of Letting Go of Hate

I saw a quote this quote today and it sparked some interesting thought on my part:

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This quote really hit me in a way that allowed me to reflect on the last year and some of the personal aspects of my life I have decided to let go.  One of them being parts of my family.

I have always hesitated to write on this topic; although it has been in the forefront of my mind for some time now.  I feel like focusing on how my thoughts coincide with the significance of this quote would be the best “politically correct” (lol) way to address it.

Had this been a year or so ago, I possibly would have went into my “no filter” mode and began reading everyone I didn’t care for to the nth degree about how I felt about them.  This year, I’m in a much better place, and I can address this topic in a mature manner.

I have developed a bit of a strained relationship with certain members of my family.  It has caused me to build some levels of sadness, anger but most of all indifference.  For one reason or another (there are a few for each member, so I won’t divulge into all that) I have chosen to distance myself from certain members of my family, and although I am saddened by it, and at one point I hated the predicament and the situation that led us to this point, I have refused to let that hate or indifference consume me on a daily basis.  I have chosen more to love the people that are actively present in my life and in my immediate family’s life and go forth from that point.

A lot of my indifference began when my daughter was born.  At that point, I saw changes in certain people.  I have one family member, whose relationship has improved with me, while another has been  strained from the lack of involvement in my daughter’s life.  I did not expect me having a child to drastically change the dynamic of my family by any means (because it has been this way for a while), but I will say that I expected a “bare minimum” from them, if you will.  When I did not even get that, I decided that it was best to just distance myself and focus on those who have shown a true interest and level of support for me during that time.  I am a hard core optimist (ask my best friend lol), so as much as I wanted to kick myself for even thinking that things would change after them being so dysfunctional for so long, I truly thought in the back of my mind that things would change and possibly get a little less dysfunctional because we could all come together over the new additions to our family; however, I found that that was not the case.

This, amongst other things that happened between 1/1/15 and 12/31/15 were also occurring that only added fuel to the fire when it comes to my feelings towards these specific family members.  I will admit, as I said before, it hurt bad and I had some hate in my heart for these people.  I wondered what kind of person could be that oblivious, disrespectful, ignorant, etc. to treat your own family the way that you do.  It truly pushed me further and further away from my family and I only stuck by my immediate family.

One day, I decided that enough was truly enough.  I could not continue to focus on the hate I felt for them and their actions, and focus more on the people who consistently show me that they love and care for me.  I decided that hate was an emotion that was too heavy a burden to carry, and the best thing I could do was to pray for them, and continue to focus on the love, rather than the hate.  I wish nothing but the best for them, and I will always respect them because that is how I was raised.  I am not expecting much beyond that, and for one in particular, I am not even expecting them to be respectful.

Sometimes it’s better to let go of burdens, rather than continue to carry them on your back.  Eventually, those hateful burdens begin to affect the love you hold in your heart for others.