This is an odd question, but how do you get rid of hatred?
There are certain people who I really hate, and I can’t ever see myself liking them. I really can’t stand these individuals. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I often find myself wishing that bad things would happen to them. The very thought of these people causes me to rant and rave.
I suffer them when I have to, but I would be happy if I never had to see them again. I know I’m supposed to love my enemies, but I really struggle to talk to these individuals. I have ignored them on several occasions even when they have talked directly to me. I have to see these people on a regular basis because I work with them.
I don’t know what I should do? How would you deal with a situation like this?
First of all you don’t necessarily have to talk to everyone - for one thing it’d be physically impossible, for another some people simply aren’t the right fit for us characterwise, or might be bad influences on us or what have you. Even God denies His presence to those who are antithetical to Him.
But that doesn’t mean you can avoid them out of hatred and hang on to feelings of resentment or grudges against them.
So what should you do? Simply pray - pray for yourself that you may see and love those people in the same way that God (who is love itself, and loves them deeply because they are made in His image) sees and loves them.
And pray directly for them as well, for their needs, and that you and they may be together in heaven. I find it difficult to hate someone that I’m praying for - especially while imagining that we might both end up in heaven together!
First I will say what we all know, is that we must find Christ in others.
That said. Perhaps this shouldn’t be posted, but, the more that I feel that I hate this one person in my life, the happier she becomes. When I love her, she is miserable. When she is miserable she is mean, when she is happy she is just irrational.
Her mother has a health problem that has been increased by her divisiveness, temper tantrums, general disrespect for the peace of her parents’ home. She is her replacement, no doubt.
When I fell and hurt my leg which took 9 months plus (still healing,) she wanted me to drive her to the doctor and x-ray for her leg which had an little ache in it. Her mother has a serious health issue, and, her first thought is that she had a scope herself! Of course she did, and she has had 3 MRIs or more.
Hypochondriacal, jealous, verbly abusive, name-calling, healthy in body, self-centered person that cannot be avoided. Those who are close to her suffer health problems and may not see the big picture.
I would suggest finding another job if you have to see the person daily. If you simply didn’t like the person, a little psychology would say that he/she or you have something in common, some fault. Other than that, befriend this person, and the advice of the first responder is quite correct and I wish that I could follow it.
What have I done to make an effort, I buy her gifts for her birthday and Christmas. I have gone to the art museum with her, which only made her realize how little she knows or loves art now. I watered her lawn daily when whe was gone, but on her return the lawn was neglected and is now rife with crabgrass. She found a good man to marry and threw him over after she decided that he was too much like me, despite his affection towards her, which I was quite astounded by. He had a daughter whom he loved, who she saw as a competitor no doubt. Etc.
You are in a tough spot. Christ commands you to love everyone and you know you are not obeying Him and do not know what to do about it.
There may be a very easy way for you to change this, to find the grace of conversion, change your heart.
Saint Thomas Aquinas prayed for the grace to never despise anyone. I don’t think he would have prayed this unless he was tempted to despise others.
Please go to a Church or Adoration Chapel and be in the Presence of Jesus as you work through this in prayer.
Ask yourself what you hope for the people you think you hate.
Before you do that think about the hierarchy of goods or evils you might hope for another person. On the good side, you might hope for someone to get a raise, or promotion, or have a healthy baby, or recover from a disease, or stay sober, or chaste. Getting a raise is less important than having a healthy child or a good family. So there are good things and better things that are possible for us.
What is the ultimate good you can hope for someone? It is an eternal good, to be with God, to find salvation. You can hope for eternal beatitude for another soul. So there are bigger and smaller goods you can wish for others.
Similarly, there are bigger and smaller evils that can befall souls.
Now think about hell. It is a place of never ending torment and pain, fire that burns, but never consumes the soul. There is no hope of relief. There are no friends there. All who are there know only hatred for one another forever and for all eternity separated from God and and God’s love. They are alone forever, separated from all other beings, tormented by demons.
Now think about an individual you think you hate and will evil upon. Think of the person you think you hate the most. Think about that person’s immortal soul. Is it in your will that this person suffer the evils of hell eternally?
If you meditate on this for awhile in the Presence of Christ you will find yourself praying for this person and others. In fact you will find yourself offering anytihng you have so that they could be saved, including your life. You will fnd yourself begging God to be merciful.
This will make you like Jesus who came for sinners. Sinners are His enemies. He did not come for the righteous, for none are righteous. He came for those who despise Him and spit on Him, cursed Him and mocked Him. That is me. I deserve no blessing and neither do you. So which person do you hate so much that you would ask God to withhold His mercy forever?
Would you rather a soul be blessed and know mercy and love, or damned?
The final thought is that by what you will for others you can be an instrument to effect them. If you love them they will know it.
Jesus does not simply save us so we can avoid hell and then set us off in some other place to play. He saves us so that we can be united to Him forever. So you, as your will changes toward people in desiring their beatitude will come into communion with them. Love joins. Hatred separates.
Thanks for the advice. I have taken a lot from all of the posts. I dislike these people because they called me because of a mild disability that I have. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they then tried to get me banned from the the boxing gym I attended at the time. They did this because the fighters wanted to train with me instead of them and they were motivated entirely by jealousy.
I have been praying about this for the last few days and I think I recieved my answer today in my parish newsletter. The thought for the week is “We need more than a new start - we need a new heart.” It’s almost as if God inspired my priest to print that just for me because it is extremely relevant to my situation.
Once again, thanks for the advice. I think I’ll pray for them, and I’ll do my best to forgive and forget.
Hatred is not only an ugly sin, but a powerful feeling. The most complicated of sins, because often we don’t know why we hate. If I may, I would like to share from two perspectives. First, I would like to share from my studies of the Franciscan life, being a Franciscan myself. Secondly, I would like to share my experience how I avoid this cross. It’s really a cross.
When Francis of Assisi was looking for a rule to follow Christ he opened the Gospels and he read, “Take up your cross and follow me.” From that point forward he realized that there was no need to write a rule for himself or his followers. God had written the perfect rule of life, the Gospel. The Gospel is not just a set of printed books. The Gospel is the Incarnate Son of God. Our rule of life is to follow the Christ.
My first suggestion, from my personal experience is to focus not on the person whom you hate. Don’t worry about hating. Worry about living as Christ lived. I have found that when my focus is to do things the way that Christ did it, just as St. Francis did, I don’t even notice the actions and deeds of others. When I do, they don’t take away my inner peace and silence.
My daily schedule helps me a great deal. I pray the rosary on my way to work and pray to work as Christ worked. On my way home, I try to stop at the local parish to spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, my dearest friend. I feel as a man in love when I’m there. I can’t stand to leave. Often when I’m walking out the door, I have to look back one more time to say good-bye to my dear friend. I was brought to this by Francis’ prayer, “We adore you oh Christ and we bless you, here and in all your Churches throughout the whole world, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”
If I get home early enough, I try to pray the Liturgy of the Hours for Evening Prayer. Then I spend about two hours in spiritual reading and sharing with friends who are of the same Christian faith as I am. Finally, it’s night time. I always end the day with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I turn off the light and hold my rosary and pray my chaplet as I lay in the dark.
This is not my doing. This is the grace of the Holy Spirit. I began by reading St. Francis and realized that the focus in my life was misplaced. I was focussing too much on what I felt and not enough on imitating the Christ of the Gospel. I picked on area of the Gospel to begin with and from there the Holy Spirit has led me in many different directions. I needed to begin with prayer. I read everything in the Gospels about prayer. From there the rest just opened up.
Maybe you’re putting so much energy on avoiding hatred that you’re not putting enough energy in imitating Christ like our holy father Francis did. I would suggest that you read those sections in the Gospel where Christ had to deal with difficult people and observe how he did it. Try reading how he faced the high priest or Pilate. He was quiet and respectful. When he ran into the crowd that wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery, he did not hate them. He just spoke the facts to the crowd and to the woman. This was also the case when Jairus came to him to ask him to heal his daughter. Jairus was not one of Jesus’ friends or followers. In fact, he approached Jesus out of desperation, not real faith. But examine how Jesus responds to him. He doesn’t demand goodness from Jairus. Jesus gives goodness.
Our holy father Francis discovered that the Gospel is about the Goodness of God. Our rule of life is to live according to that goodness. Focus not on avoiding hatred. That’s a narrow approach to the Christian message. Focus on imitating the Incarnate Son of God.