The Single Woman’s Dash of Sass: Sometimes It’s Okay NOT to Love Your Haters
Quote of the Day:
“Don’t trip over haters, step over them.” ~Darrin Lowery
The Single Woman Says:
I was reading a great article last night by Brene Brown (Google her – she’s amazing!) about how she was recently viciously attacked by nameless, faceless, “anonymous” readers for an article she wrote. The great irony is, her article was about vulnerability…meaning she had laid herself bare for the benefit of her readers, and in return, several people hurled cruel, petty insults at her, most of which had nothing whatsoever to do with the content of the article itself. And the worst part was, they were readers who were too cowardly to post these insults using their real names or real photos. In true “hater” form, they hid behind anonymous screen names. The article reminded me of a recent incident in which I was the victim of a malicious, unwarranted personal attack on a certain message board that shall remain nameless…an incident that, until this point, I haven’t spoken about. Brene’s openness and vulnerability about her own situation, though, has given me the inspiration to speak up for myself. And for you. And for anyone who has been a victim in any way of cruelty, bullying, cyber-bullying, or petty hate and jealousy.
The natural response, and even my typical response to incidents like this is: “Love your haters! All they need is more love.” But last night, reading Brene’s article and pondering my own situation, something hit me. Maybe we don’t HAVE to love our haters. Maybe it’s okay NOT to. At least not right away. Maybe we can allow ourselves to feel the hurt, and the pain, and the rejection, and the embarrassment that their malicious attacks caused and NOT apologize for our feelings. After all, we are human. Sticks and stones DO break bones…and words break hearts. Maybe…just maybe…it’s OKAY not to wear the mask of universal love and forgiveness when someone purposely causes us pain. Maybe we can let it all hang out, stop turning the other cheek, and call them on their actions. If I had a friend or a loved one or a reader involved in a verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive relationship, I certainly wouldn’t encourage them to just “love their way” through it. I would tell them to stand up for themselves. To fight back. To wrestle their dignity away from the person trying to rob them of it and to walk away. So why on earth would I encourage anyone who has been the victim of hate to force themselves to love the one hating them?
I’m certainly NOT suggesting you retaliate with hate, or bitterness, or anger. All I’m saying is: Give yourself permission NOT to love your haters. Some of them are not worthy of your love. Some of them would only scoff at it if you handed them your love on a silver platter. Forgive them, certainly…but then give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you’re feeling…and if it’s NOT love, that’s okay. Give yourself time to feel and heal and deal. Sometimes loving YOURSELF and taking care of yourself means removing your love from those who don’t deserve it.