As opposed to other clubs where the initiation process can be quite difficult, getting into The Haters Club is an effortless task. Obtaining a membership is as easy as harboring even the most minute amount of unforgiveness towards someone and you automatically gain full access to the club.
The club has many perks of which its members delight in including a license to hang on to anger indefinitely, a license to control, as well as the ability to keep the offender “on the hook”. These all seem very appealing but they come with a price.
Perhaps you have heard the phrase:
there is a fine line between love and hate
If you have ever been in love then you might agree it is one of the strongest feelings you can ever experience. You probably have mental archives full of details such as the place you and your “plus-one” first met, your first date, your first kiss, your first dance, and the list goes on. As a matter of fact there is probably a whole section of your memory dedicated only to this. Some might call it a tad bit obsessive.
Hate functions in much the same way. In fact, it is scientifically proven that hate is an all-consuming passion, just like love, which uses many of the same neural circuits in the brain. You have a perfect recollection of what the object of your hatred did, what they said, the place you were at, how you reacted, and the list goes on. Just like love, the circumstances take up valuable space in your mind and you are able to play them over and over in your head just like a classical movie.
Understandably, there are offenses others commit against us that leave us not only wanting to be members of the club but actually make us want to run for president. But before we run off and start a presidential campaign, we must be reminded that the price of hate is enslavement.
Recently, I was deeply touched by something I read on a social media site. It was a bereaved husband’s letter to a terrorist group titled “You will not have my hatred”. Though Leiris never states in this letter that he forgives, he obviously understands the price to pay for hatred. This is why he repeatedly tells the terrorists that he and his son will continue to walk around in freedom and that they will not respond to the terrorist behavior in anger.
Speaking as someone who has been on both sides of the fence, I can tell you that it is much more difficult to be the one extending the forgiveness then to be the one receiving it. Though this may seem obvious, what may not be as obvious is that the reward is also greater for the same.
…Because forgiveness is not about letting anyone off the hook but yourself. This is where true freedom lies!
Are you ready to give up your membership?
To read “You will not have my hatred” in its entirety please click here.