The One Emotion To Avoid At All Costs

They tell you to "feel your feelings" and it's true, you have no choice.
But some of them are really unpleasant:
  • Fear
  • Jealousy
  • Grief
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Hate
Like many people I try to bypass all this crap and medicate with food. Ice cream and french fries work well. Or, I just get dizzy. 
One day I looked in the mirror and saw rivers of early gray.
Other people have less of a problem with negativity. They can admit: "I'm afraid," or sad, or jealous or even self-hating. They can talk about it with friends. All of that is good.
But there are some people who like the dark side a bit too much. They are haters, and almost any pretext will set them off. 
Sometimes it seems like hatred has a justification. But when you indulge in this feeling, the only person you're really hurting is yourself. Because you're binding yourself to the target of it, forever.
And the reason you feel hatred, if the truth be told, is more personal than external.
  • I've hated others, and learned that the emotion masked my own discomfort with a part of myself.
  • There have been people who have hated me because they didn't understand things. But you can't explain yourself to the entire world, and frankly people often don't give a shit about revising that judgment once it's done.
  • I used to feel justified in hating those who are antisemitic, until I realized that the real issue was feeling powerless on my part. The Nazis and the radical terrorists seem to have a strength I don't possess.
Hatred is always, always, always about you and never the target.
The spectrum of so-called negative emotions is good for us to feel. It lights the way forward. It's a signal that some important boundary has been disturbed, that right and wrong need fixing, that we have unresolved conflicts from the past.
Dwelling in hatred, however, is never a good idea. It throws your inner compass off. It stops your brain from working. Blocks you from learning. It binds you to the very object of your hatred, in ways you never want.
Hatred keeps you at the junior level of consciousness, when you want to be a spiritual CEO.
Dannielle Blumenthal is a seasoned communications professional with nearly two decades of progressive, varied experience in the public sector, private sector, and academia as well as her own independent, freelance sole proprietorship. This blog is written in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed here are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the National Archives and Records Administration, or the United States government. Photo credit: U.S. Army / Flickr