Not long ago, I was driving and glanced at myself in the rearview mirror. I noticed a long line that runs in the middle of my forehead, about the length of my eyebrows. I have seen it there before but never really thought much about it.
I know as we get older, annoying lines and wrinkles start to show up on our bodies. I decided to name this line my “thinking line.” It doesn’t show up when I laugh or smile. It’s not there when I am relaxed. It becomes very evident when I have a lot on my mind.
That day, I did have a lot on my mind. I was thinking about the times I had been wronged. And the feeling of hate crept into my soul.
When I was growing up, there were a couple of unacceptable things to say in our home. We did not say the Lord’s name in vain. And we did not use words such as stupid and hate.
Words are so powerful and most people don’t even realize it. I know verbally lashing out when I’m upset can hurt others; so instead, my ‘thinking line’ appears and I make a list of what’s on my mind.
I still won’t say the word “hate,” but I have written it down when the need arises. I have only made a list once in my life, which was many years ago. The amount of anger I was holding in was surprising.
I hate not knowing where I stand in a relationship;
I hate being taken advantage of and being walked on;
I hate not having a shoulder to cry on;
I hate playing games.
I hate being lied to and deceived;
I hate being used to gratify someone else’s needs;
I hate not being at the top of someone’s list;
I hate being jerked around.
I hate being treated worse than a stranger;
I hate mixed signals;
I hate that people you call your friends, are not your friends;
I hate that I give and give, and still get no return;
I hate that people have forgotten the meaning of common courtesy;
I hate that my heart has hardened when it comes to love;
I hate that I let negative people affect me;
I hate that I care so much when a lot of people don’t;
I hate that people are judgmental;
I hate that I try so hard and still finish last;
I hate that I stick around, when I should be moving forward;
I hate that I have missed opportunities for other people.
I wrote my hate down, let it go, and my “thinking line” relaxed.
Soon after I had finished, I realized how much I hate the word “hate.” No wonder my mother
wouldn’t allow it in her house. It focuses only on the negative, and I don’t want my life defined by it.
This list allowed me to release my anger through writing. I felt it disappearing with every sentence. Only when I evicted the hate could I give an open invitation to love. I wrote another list, about the things that matter most in my life:
I love the power of forgiveness;
I love the power of compassion;
I love the power of kindness;
I love the power of love.
Writing these lists helped me let go of my negative thoughts and fully embrace the positive. In each line, I began to reflect on the beauty and love in my life. Love conquers all things and I am convinced that love is stronger than hate.
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