I hated once. Before the once I thought I had hated but I was wrong 'cause now I realize I had never felt that way before and have surely not gone back after. I now turn from that path, my eyes are lowered and I walk the other way.
The first time someone told me not to hate I was only a child, maybe seven or eight years old. My Aunt Wanda heard me say I hate you to my Papaw as I spun around and took off to my room 'cause he wasn't going to take me with him. He laughed but my Aunt Wanda followed me. Followed me right there to my room, looked down at me and in a very serious tone, not loud just serious, said, Shea, you do not hate. You do not say that word. That is a very bad word.
I was struck by her emphasis.
Yet not enough to keep me from hating that one time, some twenty odd years later.
As an eyewitness to my own account I will tell you it came to me while I wasn't looking, started as a sharp knife in my gut, birthed from a fear so intense it barely allowed me to breathe. It was as if I had been kicked so hard that I lay on the floor unmoved wondering if I even wanted to get back up. Eventually, actually rather suddenly, I knew I had to. I had to stand but with every tightening thread of movement, every thrust of blood through my veins that fear was turning into hate. That hate was turning into me.
I pray you never feel hate not because I fear for what or who you would hate but for you. But for you, I would pray for you, your own well being.
If I were ever to say that I believed in demons or bad spirits or something around us is just not right in this world I would say it is hate. For me now that word has incredible power, a power to destroy from within, a cancer of which there is no cure unless we as individuals recognize it within ourselves.
And how could we not when it is a burning so deep it consumes us, a molten rock of destruction. Nature shows us photographs of our own demise. So we see and we change. Change ourselves, not anyone else.
No, I won't sell you a self help video. I am not writing a book to tell you how to remove hate. This is no instruction manual. I claim to be an expert on nothing. In fact, at the end of the day you can often hear me make the remark, I don't know shit.
All I can say is that I don't hate and I once did. When I once did I prayed. I became distracted by prayer crying, please please please please take this away. Take this away. Don't allow me to hate.
It kept burning and I kept praying.
Years later I can say to you in this now of December 16, 2010. In this home. In this moment I do not hate, and I don't know how I got here but I can tell you with tears in my eyes that I am so very grateful for this place, this space, this warm, loving environment, this moment which flows over me like water. Like one of those beautiful, brilliant waterfalls rushing over rocks way above.
It is love.
And now I think I understand the power of words.