Okay, when I say “hate,” I’m not talking about disliking someone. I’m talking about having intense feelings of hostility toward someone, to the point that you want to hurt that person. It’s easy to see how you could feel that way about someone who constantly does things that cause you pain, but who does that help? Or who does it hurt? It probably doesn’t hurt the person you hate. Most of the time, that person will hate you, too, so it doesn’t matter to him or her. It only makes that person feel justified in whatever he or she is doing that hurts you. No, the hate mainly hurts the person who feels it.   
 
It entails unforgiveness (in most cases). It’s a feeling that can consume you, and whether you know it or not, it robs you of your peace and happiness. You’re probably thinking, No, he (or she) robs me of my peace and happiness!! But, and I learned this in therapy, people can’t rob you of your peace and happiness if you don’t let them. You do that yourself when you choose to hold onto hate and unforgiveness. And if that’s not enough to make you want to put away the hate, what about disease? Did you know that harboring hate and unforgiveness can literally cause you to get sick? It’s true. Don’t do that to yourself.
 
Your feelings are your choices. When I first heard that, I thought it was crazy. I thought I couldn’t control the way I felt–that I was subject to my feelings. But the truth is that our feelings are controlled by our thoughts.
 
Think about it like this: Let’s say that there was a person you knew and cared for, who was convicted of murder. You don’t know whether this person is guilty or not, but you never would’ve imagined he could kill someone. However, you would probably not consider this person as a potential mate for many reasons, but mainly because there’s at least a chance that he killed someone. But there are some people whose hearts would go out to this guy. They would see him as a victim, and be drawn to him. Okay, they probably have issues themselves, but the point is that the difference in the way a person feels about something or someone is all in their perception–in the way they think.
 
Many, if not most, women tend to be consumed with hate for the other woman. Somehow, they manage to forgive, or at least get past, what their partners did by cheating, but they hold onto their hate for the women they choose to see as the reason their lives fell apart. First of all, remember who it was that cheated on you–your man! Then, try to look at the intent. That works in any situation–not just infidelity.
 
When you feel that someone has wronged you, look at their intent. If they didn’t mean to hurt you, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, but it means that your pain was not something they wanted or intended to create. Whatever they did wasn’t done with malice toward you. They didn’t mean to hurt you. In many cases, the person who hurts you feels really bad about the fact that what they did caused others to hurt.
 
You might not think it matters, but it does. Let’s look at another example: Say you’re playing softball, and a friend throws the ball and accidentally hits you. She runs over and tells you she’s so sorry, and checks to make sure you’re okay. Now, let’s say you’re playing softball with another team, and on that team is a girl who has hated you since elementary school. She throws the ball as hard as she can, and she hits you! You see the look on her face, and you know it was intentional.
 
In both cases, you’re hit by a ball, but one person wanted to hurt you, and the other didn’t. It makes no sense to hate the person who accidentally hit you. As for the one who hit you intentionally, you could hate her, but what would that accomplish? The best thing you could do is to tell her there are no hard feelings and smile–not a wicked smile, but a sincere one. It might change her feelings toward you, and all the hate could go away. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? That probably won’t happen, but it would at least make her think about you as a person and that maybe you’re not the person she thought you were.
 
I once met a woman in a community college I attended. We became friends, and one day, she was telling me that I was nothing like she thought I would be. She said, “Gah, Kitten! If people would just get to know you, they wouldn’t think you were a bitch!” I laughed, and said, “Thanks… I think.” 

Another similar instance was on my first day at a new school in Pensacola. A guy (who is still a good friend) walked up to me and said, “Cathy ******* hates you.” I asked him who she was, and he told me she was just a girl, and she was probably jealous. This was a girl I had never met, and as it was my first day in that school, I had obviously never done anything to deserve the hate!
 
Most people don’t care if someone hates them. They go on about their lives, and don’t give it any thought, but I’m not like most people. I do care. It bothers me. I wish I could change most of the things I’ve done that hurt others. In other cases, I wouldn’t want to change what I did, but I definitely wish those things hadn’t caused any pain for anyone. I’m  sorry about any pain that I’ve caused. I’ve said and done many things that I wish I could take back and change, and for those things, I’m sorry. I hope that these women can get past their hate and heal their own hearts.
 
The thing that really made me work hard to not hate was when I read in the Bible that hate is the same as murder!! So if you hate someone, you’re basically guilty of murder! I am not saying you should murder–I’m saying you should NOT HATE!! That really scared me, and it made me think long and hard about the way I thought and felt about people who had hurt me, whether they meant to or not. And when I started to make changes in my thoughts, giving them to Jesus, letting him take them away and cleanse them, I began to see these people as human beings, and not as monsters. My feelings began to change, and the hate gradually faded.
 
I can’t say that I don’t have any bad feelings at all, though I try not to. But I can honestly say that I do not hate anyone. There is no one that I would harm physically, given the chance. There is no one that I would harm mentally or emotionally, given the chance. There are, however, some people who are full of hate toward me, and with those people, I would like to talk and to share my side and my feelings about the issues they have with me–not to hurt, but hopefully, to help. 
 
If you are full of hate, please consider the things you’ve just read. Think about what the Bible says about hate (look it up, if you don’t believe me). Think about the fact that your thoughts control your feelings. Try to think of these people and their actions. Maybe they didn’t mean to hurt you, but even if they did, you still don’t have to hate them. I’m telling you this for your own good. Especially if you have children, it’s not good for them to see your bitterness and hate. That only teaches them to hate, and I know you don’t want that for them.
 
Just remember that we’re all human. We make mistakes. We do things we regret. We do things we’re ashamed of. We all do, and that includes you. None of us is perfect, and we all deserve to be forgiven. Try to think of it that way, and work on putting away the hate. You won’t believe how much better you’ll feel when you stop carrying around all those hateful feelings! That’s some really heavy baggage you can leave right where it is, and never have to pick it up again! Give it a try.