Thank you for a great question. I also used to feel a lot of hatred. I often spent my days walking around feeling miserable and hateful inside. If someone did me unjust, or hurt me in some way, I wanted revenge. I didn’t only want to see them dead, I also wanted their entire family dead! Ok, perhaps not completely seriously, but I definitely had those thoughts. So much hatred! Crazy.
Where hatred comes from
The hatred comes from feelings of inferiority, greed, laziness, and powerlessness. The more we have of those feelings in our mind, the more we are prone to hate. We want a lot from life, but we feel we don’t have the capacity to create such a life for ourselves, and instead we hate ourselves for not being strong enough. Thus, it’s actually not others that we hate: since we are unsatisfied with ourselves, the actual subject of our hatred is essentially ourselves. However, this black goo of hatred then spreads around, sticks to and taints everything in our way: those we think are better than us, or those who we look down on, or even those who have the same weaknesses as us, also society, norms, groups, trends, politicians, anything really.
It starts with ourselves. Think about it. You have probably had days when you felt good about yourself. On those days, you don’t hate. You just want embrace others, right? No time for hatred on those days. However, when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we easily revert to hatred. It seems like it’s easier to hate than to actually do something about our situation. I find this to be true for anything that is negative in the human mind such as anger, depression, anxiety, etc. We secretly like to be miserable because that gives us an excuse for not doing what we need to do, i.e. pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and move on.
There are different ways of working on hatred. What I found particularly useful is meditation. Meditation is an introspective process through which we look within to find out what’s there, and let it go. As we let go of what we hold in our minds, we start to feel naturally lighter and happier within.
It’s particularly good to locate all the times in life when we’ve felt inferior, jealous, or just unsatisfied with ourselves. These memories are full of negative attachments, and when we look back on ourselves, these attachments manifest as strong negative emotions, like hatred or anger. When they surface in the mind, it’s time to discard. We can let them disappear like smoke or burn them in a fire with help of the meditation method. As we practice this, we become aware of how much of this negative crap we actually have in our mind. Sometimes it feels endless. But if we practice continuously, little by little our mind becomes more at peace and we start to have the capacity to move on.
When we have discarded a lot, we begin to accept ourselves as we are. The next step follows naturally, which is to allow ourselves to actually love ourselves. (I say ‘allow ourselves’ because we have been so accustomed to hating ourselves that the mere thought of loving ourselves might sound ludicrous at first.)
The love we feel towards ourselves is not a prideful or forced one, it’s a tender and accepting love because it stems from the true self, the source. This realization sparks a humble willingness to grow and evolve into becoming a better human being. We want to learn new things, encourage and help others, and contribute with value to the world. It’s a beautiful process. Slowly we start to blossom. Gradually, hatred stops taking up our time and energy, and we begin to focus on the positive things in life.
Meditation is a transformative process. Meditate daily, but – very importantly – don’t forget to take action. What I mean by taking action is to put an effort into learning new things, helping others, caring for others, and generally working in a direction guided by your inner wisdom and newly found self-love and self-acceptance.
I put off the action taking part for far too long. Due to my laziness, I just meditated and thought that that alone would take care of everything, but that wasn’t enough. Taking action is essential in order for us to transform. Only then can we grow, become completely liberated from hatred, and develop into truly beautiful human beings.