It feels good to have a strong, loud feeling to cling onto, especially when you’re in the middle of heartbreak. And hate is usually what does the trick.
After all, it’s so easy to hate someone. Especially someone that broke your heart.
It’s easy to come up with all the reasons why they’re terrible, why they’re worthless, why everyone else should hate them too. To list their shortcomings, their weaknesses, their insecurities, their flaws. And to use that energy – even if it exists solely inside you, without the other person even knowing about it – to give you the fuel you need just to get through one more day.
Slowly, without realizing it, you start to survive off of this hatred.
You breathe it, you drink it, you eat it, you allow it to become the main source that’s keeping you alive. It consumes you, and you welcome it, because you’ll understandably take anything at this point to replace the empty brokenness that seems to be swallowing you whole.
And because hate is such an intensely strong and negative feeling, it makes you think that you’re over the person who broke your heart. That because you harbor so much ill will towards them, so much anger and so much bitterness – that it must mean they no longer have power over you. Because there’s no way, when your heart holds so much animosity towards them, that you could possibly want to ever go back to them.
The one problem is that hating someone doesn’t mean you’re over them.
Usually, it means just the opposite. Because whether the feeling you have towards them is extremely positive or extremely negative, it’s still consuming you. The way you look at the world, the way you look at your life – it’s still being done through the lens of your past relationship, through the lens of your heartbreak.
The decisions you make, the actions you carry out, the way you handle the rest of your relationships – all of these aspects of your life are revolving around a version of you that is carrying hurt and heartbreak andthat person at the center of it.
So whether you’re desperately in love with them or carrying more hatred towards them than you ever thought imaginable, you’re not over them. They’re still the driving force of your life.
It’s okay to be angry, to be bitter, to have these uncontrollable feelings of hate towards them. You’re human, you just went through a breakup, it makes sense. But your life will be a whole lot easier when you acknowledge exactly what these feelings mean – when you take it as a sign that you’re still healing, that you still have some things to work through, that you’re not quite there yet.
And as soon as you realize where the hate’s coming from, when you realize that it’s there because you’re trying to let them go but just can’t yet, it will begin to have less power over you. It will no longer be able to trick you into using it as sustenance. You will be the one controlling things, and your hatred will move out into the orbit of your life, rather than being at the center of it.
And then, one day, you’ll feel the beginnings of the hate fizzling out, and the indifference settling in. And it will be the most beautiful feeling in the world. All it takes is time.
Written by Kim Quindlen (with permission)
This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com