HATE defined by Webster’s Dictionary: “intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury; extreme dislike or disgust.”
Hate is an ugly thing, definitely. I think on some level it is something that we all can relate to. We’ve all experienced some form of hatred. Whether it was reality or just my perception, whether directly or indirectly targeted, I too know what this feels like. This post however isn’t meant to magnify this problem and wrong; instead, I want to show a different way…a way through it.
To be honest, this post was inspired by a dream that I recently had. In this dream, I was visiting a place/city that I used to live in and am familiar with. However in the dream, things were different than when I lived there, things had changed. Also, in the dream there were several christian friends and people that I went to college with visiting. I was so happy and overjoyed to see them in the dream since it has been years. But when I greeted them, they were very cold and unwelcoming.
At first, after waking up I thought, “why would these individuals treat me this way? why wouldn’t they have been happy to see me like I was them?” This feeling of rejection and hatred felt real and confusing. It was easy to look at them as in the wrong and conclude that they were treating me different because they hated me and were against me, against who I am. They must disagree with my life, beliefs, and my stance on sexuality, so I thought. But I quickly remembered that “haters gonna’ hate” and that I must look to see a deeper lesson from this dream…
A Lesson from the Green Arrow
It’s true. Believe it or not, I’ve never owned Netflix like most people these days. So I got the next best thing- a free month’s trial! I’m not happy about this, but I did make it through 4 seasons of this show. To give you some context, Oliver Queen, a rich popular wimpy brat was shipwrecked on an island for 5 years. Everyone thought he was dead! In some sense, he did die on that island. He was tortured and had to do many unthinkable things to survive. Needless to say, this experience changed him dramatically! In his own words, it created a monster out of him. After his return, he lived life out of that tragic experience and darkness. He lost a lot of his humanity while on the island and as a result, lived very shut down emotionally. He found it best to keep everyone at arms length. As the seasons progressed, he changed the way he lived and started to regain his humanity. He had to learn to live not for himself but for something greater.
Whatever negative experiences we go through in life, we can’t deny that we lived through them. But the lesson is to use what we’ve been through for good and for something bigger than ourselves. We can turn it around to help us become better men and women. My dream showed me that I can’t focus on what others have done to me or how they might view me. People are not going to understand or agree with your journey of life at all times and that’s OK. You can’t control others and how they might treat you. I know that over these years that I’ve blogged that not everyone agrees or understands my view. But I also know there are many that read that do understand and relate to something of my story. My hope is that others will receive hope and know they aren’t alone on an island, fighting for their own life. The dream caused me to ask myself, how will I respond to those that hate me or don’t understand me? Do I allow their negativity to hurt and trigger me? Do I allow myself to become so overwhelmingly “me” focused that I seek out male attention/affection in unhealthy ways? Or do I change my response? Will I choose to show love to them while letting go of offense? Haters are gonna’ hate but what you can control is your response. How will you respond?