Handling Hate - your own

I find myself feeling a lot of anger recently.  It comes from fear.  It does not overwhelm me. I do try to focus on the good things going on in the world. And there are a lot of good things going on.  But with the bad things, I find myself getting really angry - because - truthfully - I have moments where I am really scared.

To me, my Humanism is a personal practice. It's about how I want to behave, act and interact with the world and others.  I know intellectually that hate - while a totally valid emotion, is not a good way to solve problems. 

The upside of anger is that it tells me there is a problem that needs to be solve. The problem with hate is it focuses me on an individual or a group and that doesn't necessarily help me fix the problem. Often - it is counter productive.

Most people, even people who are hurting others, aren't necessarily trying to hurt people. They often don't know they are doing it  - or - they are trying to protect themselves from the things they fear and are doing the same thing I struggle with - which is getting angry and then hating the people making them afraid. 

It's a vicious cycle and if we are to end it - we need to take responsibility to do it.  And that requires us to not feed the cycle.

To me - this is a balancing act. How do I acknowledge my fear and anger without devolving into hate. Again, fear and anger tell me there is a problem that needs to be solved and motivate me to tackle the problem. Hate - focuses my efforts in a way that is counter productive.

To help me with this - I remind myself that other people are humans! They probably aren't evil.  They are actually - probably a lot like me. And they are - because we are all humans. We all have the same basic emotional toolkit and are prone to similar thinking errors, like fear, anger and hate.

I find this reminder to myself helps me step out of my fear based anger just enough to NOT continue on the path towards hate.

If you are so afraid you hate people - that's you. It's an emotion happening in your mind. So remind yourself to not be afraid. And to focus on solving the problem - not on hating the people you think are responsible for the problem.  Why? Because chances are - you need the people you are upset with - to help you and it's easier to get them to help you if you aren't hurting them through your hate.

Do I succeed at this?  I honestly don't know. I experience the emotion of hate.  I like to hope that I don't act on it.  And that I can de-escalate myself to think more rationally and compassionately about people.  I feel like I can do that pretty well. I am able to de-escalate myself on my own without external pushes. So - yes. I guess I do.  Being successful, does not mean I am perfect. It means - when it happens - I handle it.

Does that mean I never feel hate? Of course not. I do. It just means that I view it as my responsibility to handle my own hate so that I don't carry it with me and infect others.

I hope this helps. 

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