Love is often described as something that is eternal, something that we cannot touch and exists in everything. When in love, it seems as if the warm and glorious feeling will last forever, as if it will never and cannot possibly be replicated. Often, family love is described as unconditional. None of these things are always true. Love can be exhausted, meaning love can be lost, love can calcify and become hard hatred, until it becomes emptiness.
Can you stop loving someone? Yes, of course. Can you stop loving a family member? Yes. Family love, regardless of culture, is the type of love that is deemed permanent and unconditional. Not all families are the same and not all families are as loving. Abuse, whether physical, sexual, verbal, psychological, thins down the love of a family member. What then happens is hate replaces that love.
Many that experience a negative family life grow to have hatred against family members, and when they express their sentiments they are reprimanded by friends or other family members. The conversation may go something like this, “I hate my father.” and someone responds, “No, don’t hate your father, at the end of the day, he is your father.” These types of responses cause much harm to the person who is going through difficult times, difficult emotions, and does not do anything but propagate a myth about love. Telling someone not to feel something towards an abusive family member causes the person to feel guilty, worthless, evil, harmful, wrong, and confused. Whenever encountering this type of situation, be mindful of your responses, be compassionate before anything else, and listen. Familial love is not always permanent.
What I am saying is that it is okay to feel hate against those who have hurt, or continue to hurt you, regardless of who they may be. But keep in mind that to feel hate is different from acting out of hate. To feel hate is painful. To feel angry is frustrating, almost like you are stuck, or going around in circles. Whether the relationship is romantic or familial, feeling hatred for this loved one is okay.
Hatred and love go hand in hand; they are two sides of the same coin, they are yin and yang. You cannot have hate without love, and vice versa. Think of hatred overcoming your heart and how it feels, how it suffocates that happiness, the light, and the good out of you. Many let this hatred become a permanent part of them. Some women allow their hatred of one man become a hatred for all men and some men allow their hatred for one woman become hatred for all women. Though hatred provides feelings of power and control, those moments of focus and power are based on a faulty and dark place that will never provide what you really need and want. This is because hatred attracts hatred, it attracts negativity, it attracts difficulty. So, life will never seem bright, love will seem a fantasy, and connections will be superficial.
Life is cyclical. Everything is. Here is an example of the love to hate process:
- Hurt by significant other, friend, or family member.
- Feeling pain, sadness, depression, confusion, anger.
- Love turns to hate.
- Hatred for the other person, for the world, for the self.
- Anger. Anger towards self, towards others.
- Feeling disconnected.
- Finding something new.
- Growing a new love.
Many people make it to number 8, feeling disconnected from the world, feeling alone. Some stay at number 5 and are in a constant state of hate. It is hard moving to number 9, because it is here where you have finally let go of the pain and anger, and it is here where you have found something new. 9 is where you find something new, not necessarily a new relationship, but something that fulfills you, something that gives you happiness and self-love. Number 10 takes dedication, dedication to this new thing, new way of looking at life. Number 10 is the completion, the end of a cycle, and a new beginning.
Life is really just a constant collision of energy, from atoms against atoms, to people colliding into each other, life is a beautiful chaos. Souls mingle and twist into each other. Souls, from one life to the next, find and lose each other. Sometimes we meet each other only to teach each other, or to hurt each other, or to balance the scale of karma, or to love each other. Whether a family member who causes pain or a partner who becomes a stranger, sometimes life pushes us apart. The only thing constant is change.