It’s a luxury to be able to hate your father
trigger warning: this piece talks about suicide
It’s a luxury to be able to hate your father. Not everyone gets to. I hated my father. All the way up to when I couldn’t hate him anymore. All the way up to when he killed himself. And then I couldn’t hate him anymore, because I realized deep down, underneath all that hate, that I loved him, and I would never get the chance to love him again.
But that hate didn’t go away. Like a scared baby that holds tight to your finger, it lets go only when it’s ready to let go of its fear too. And if you yank your finger away, it holds on to the fear. Likewise you hold on to the hate, the pain, the anger, when someone is ripped away from you before you have the chance to forgive and release. Only now it’s displaced. You’re angry but you don’t know what for. You hate but you don’t know what. Like a headless chicken, your hate runs around popping up out of nowhere and you never know what it’s all about.
It’s sadness. It was always sadness. You were angry to protect yourself. Protect yourself from feeling sad over something you couldn’t control. Over feeling uncontrollably sad. So you blamed someone for your pain. At least you could control that. Who you decide to blame. To hate. To revile and to attack. The solution seems simple then. Bring them to justice. In whatever way they deserve, so they learn never to do “wrong” to you again.
But they don’t learn. Violence doesn’t teach. It only hurts and inspires more violence. It doesn’t solve anything. We know it. But we can’t help ourselves. We hurt others cause we’re hurting and we don’t know what to do about it. We all do it. Whether we mean to or not.
What to do… How do we stop it all?
To stop the violence we have to stop the hate. To stop the hate we have to treat the pain that’s lodged into our hearts. We need surgery. We need a doctor to open our hearts to, to show all the mess we’re too scared to face by ourselves. All the trauma and all the unanswered questions. We need a surgeon with a sharp mind and soft hands to hold our hearts delicately and cut away the hate that’s grown-over and poisoned our love.
May we know love again. May we find a safe space to lay down our woes. Not at anyone, but on the ground, and step back to be purified by the light. May you know love today, and know that love is still in your heart, coursing through your veins. It wants to be expressed through unclouded judgement, flowing clearly into the eyes and ears of all men, nourishing all that it touches. Like a mountain spring coursing through a fertile valley. This world is a fertile valley. Despite what hardened hearts may say. This world is a fertile valley. And the hearts and minds of your brothers and sisters are like the woodland creatures drinking from its streams.
May you know love today. That you may be able to put love out into the world for all to see, hear, and feel. May your words be kind, your eyes gentle, and your heart yielding. As supple as a newborn’s fist, gripped around your little finger. And may you give that child all the time it needs to trust, feel safe, and let go of its worries, all on its own.