“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” –Martin Luther King, Jr
I think I know a good bit about MLK, Jr., and I have great admiration for him. I know that he preached and strongly believed in nonviolence. So do I. I have long admired and tried to follow his advocacy of love. And his apparent ability to love, not hate those who would do him harm. I suppose it is only natural that I would try to figure out how all that “love, not hate” theory applies in my life and to those who have done serious emotional and financial damage to me.
Sometimes I think I’m trying to convince myself that I can love and not hate D and S. Maybe I am. But the truth is hate is a huge burden. I don’t have time for it. I have a birthday soon. I’m not getting any younger.
Hermann Hesse said, “If you hate someone, you hate something in him that is part of yourself.” If that is true, then I must be getting kinder and more loving with myself. I’ve done enough research on divorce now to know that the person who suffers an unwanted divorce loses huge chunks of self-esteem. With all those holes in her self-image, she starts to think of herself as somehow unlovable. At first my rebuilding was slow and I couldn’t get past anger and distaste for the two who did this to me. Gradually I have become kinder to me. I have stopped (most of the time) quizzing myself on what I might have done differently. I have finally gotten out of my shell and started to think about what I might do for others and I am acting on it. I have pampered myself when needed. And in the process of loving me, I have started to feel more kindly toward D and S.
I’m a work in progress as we all are. And I am seeing progress. That’s gratifying. Sometimes progress seems depressingly slow but that will not deter me. I am moving forward. Sometimes by inches. Sometimes in great leaps. I believe that the only way I can move forward is to continue to cultivate love and to phase out hate. And I don’t believe that I can give away adequate love unless I love myself adequately.