I am a terrible person.

For too long, I have believed there are people who hate me, and who hate me because of my political views.

So I began to hate them.

They were on television–that is how I learned of them–and their words would make me angry. Nearly every morning I awakened angry, and within ten minutes I was thinking about them. I even had imaginary arguments with non-existent people, trying to convince them that I was right and they were wrong.

But I hated hating. Frequently I prayed for these people so that they could stop hating. But I was hating.

This morning, during liturgy, I was both daydreaming and praying, and realized that none of these people hate me. They don’t even know I exist! They have never met me. They don’t know who I am. And, if they were to meet me and get to know me they might end up liking me. They would still dislike my political views, but once they actually interacted with a person like me, their attitude would change.

In that moment, something escaped my heart. It was like smoke, but heavy, and thick like mud, and I could breathe more easily. Even my stomach felt better.

In that moment, I had a much easier time loving these people. I stopped worrying about myself being hated, and saw the terribleness in myself for separating myself from them.

Hope for a better relationship between them and me is now easier, because I let go of the that exhausting dark heaviness in my heart.

 

I am sorry if it is you I was hating. I don’t hate you anymore.