Why We Hate
This past weekend, the streets of Charlottesville, VA were flooded with white nationalists...
...armed with tiki torches, protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. This rally quickly unraveled into a throng of people throwing Nazi salutes and chanting “blood and soil” (the English translation of the Nazi’s old chant).
The abundance of counter protesters threw tensions into disarray with multiple fights and acts of violence between the two groups. This unfortunately led to one of the white nationalists driving at full speed into a group of counter protesters, resulting in 19 people being inured as well as the death of a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer.
The question of why do we hate came up for me, very strongly. So here are some of my thoughts about it. I’d like to start with a quote from Sigmund Freud, “hate is an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness.”
When I coach people, I help them distinguish 3 aspects within themselves.
One is our Emotional Self, the place in our psyche where all our emotions live, our Defensive Self, the part of our psyche that is vigilant about our physical and emotional survival, and our Expanded Self which is the part capable of spiritual understanding, pure awareness, creative intuition, emotional compassion, and unified thinking.
Ideally, our expanded elf needs to become the leader and the guide of our psyche, helping the other two aspects heal and transform. My work through Gates of Power® helps people to achieve that.
So, why do we hate?
Our Defensive Self becomes over reactive and over vigilant when our Emotional Self is hurt or threatened. These two parts in our psyche work together as a team. The frailer our Emotional Self is, the stronger the reaction of our Defensive Self. When our Expanded Self is not able to guide and relax these two, we are ruled and shaken by the drama and the reactive impulses and our Emotional and Defensive Selves. Most of us, unless trained to do so (the way we do it in Gates of Power® training), don’t have the tools to assist their Emotional and Defensive Selves. It subjects them to a life under the influence of emotions like pain, fear, anger, and the reactivity that comes with that.
What is the role of hate?
It’s a defensive reaction to perceived threat. “I must kill or get killed.”
It is an attempt to raise our self-esteem if it is low or shaky. “I am better than you.”
It’s a way to alleviate fear. Finding a target and directing hate towards it is more comfortable than staying in fear.
It’s a way to self-justify. “I am right. I am in control.”
It’s a way to belong to a group and get a sense of security from it.
Hate does not work.
It creates disarray, disease, and weakness in the body, mind, and spirit. It elicits violence and counter violence. The price is too high. The destruction, too great. There is a way to be assertive, stand up for what we believe in, and act to create change that does not come from hate, but from passion and right action.
Cultivate your Expanded Self as a guide and a leader. Get the tools to deal with strong emotions so they are not ruling your life.
You can hire me to speak about this, further your knowledge with my book, or get a free 15 minute consultation.
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