Monday, February 18, 2008

love and hate

A few weeks ago Aphron made his Hate Post and it has stayed with me ever since. It was one of those posts that brought so many thoughts to my mind there was no way I could leave a simple comment. In order to regain any peace of mind, I had to sort out all these thoughts and emotions and post it here. And I don't know that this is as much of a counter-point of his post, but rather a continued discussion on the subject.

We love everything. We love our spouse, our children, our cars, our friends, our friend's house, our friend's new clothes. We love that movie, that song, that whatever it is . . . we love it! And because we love everything love becomes, I think, diluted. Not that we cannot differentiate between the love we have for our spouse and the movie we just watched with them. No, I mean, we lose the real meaning of love.

The Greeks had several words for love: Eros (erotic, passionate love), Philia (friendship love), Thelema (desire), Storge (natural affection), and Agape (unconditional love). So there was never any question what type of love was meant. But today, the word love is used so much and for so many different things, the meaning can be misinterpreted.

We treat the word hate in the same manner and dilute it just as much. We hate everything as well. We hate our spouse, the weather, the traffic, and spinach. The meaning varies as much as the intensity. Though Webster's definition of hate is an intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury, that may or may not be exactly what we mean when we say we hate something. To take it to the very extreme, from a biblical standpoint, hate is the equivalent of murder.

In searching our hearts to find what our true feelings are for our spouse, especially if there is a need or desire for reconciliation, there would need to be some light of hope. We need a starting point, something to work with. To simply say, "I hate my wife," kills any and all hope; there's nothing left but hate, anger, and resentment.

But if we can find within ourselves even the simplest form of love, even if it is the "I love my wife, because she's the mother of my children," it is still love. And with that loves comes a hope that could bring life to a greater form of love.


Scarlett Wanna Be said...

"Awesome" is another word that we overuse. I completely agree with you on both points. I remember learning that "to hate" is like murdering. I really try not to use that word, even if I "hate" stubbing my toe or I "hate" someone's attitude. Instead I'll try to say, "I dislike" or "I'm passionately against that against her attitude." It is not easy to change, but your right, "hate" is so strong it means there is no hope.

for a different kind of girl said...

I try not to use the word 'hate' much, especially around my kids. I know it slips out (for example, I love dogs, but I hate my neighbor's dog. They hear me say that a lot). To hate something, in my thinking, is to not only give up hope, but to not even have given it a chance. We automatically assume we hate things because we've been told we should hate them/it. That sort of thing.

I don't know if it counts as much, but I also think 'stupid' gets too much play and it's one of those words that doesn't get used in my family

Anonymous said...

You made me think. Great post that can make the reader think.

I realize that I have hated. I have hated people in my life. It wasn't a matter of wanting them dead. It was that I wouldn't have cared, and that basically means they were dead to me.

Nothing like feeling a bit of perspective. It is part of me and always will be. Nothing changed, just an awareness.

Sailor said...

I don't like the hate, not a good word to be bandying around so blithely as seems to be typical.

It doesn't send a good message to our kids, to hear it used like that either. Thoughtful post, thank you, I like posts that give me something to consider.


1blueshi1 said...

I've always liked (oops, I put loved and had to substitute liked!) the fact that the Greeks had so many words for love, the way Eskimos have many words for snow. I wonder if the Greek culture was as full of love as the Eskimos' is of snow?
it's true that when we choose easy words like love or hate, we lose the nuances that we could express.

One thing I try to keep in mind with my husband, the way I am feeling about him (neglected, underappreciated, unloved, or what have you) is usually the way he is feeling about me, so if I can reach out and make the first move, he is able to respond with what I need. Of course, it would be nice if I always DID that instead of nurturing my negativity!

I Smile 2 Much said...

i was here earlier catching up on your posts and wanted to come back and comment on this because i've thought about all this before. and i read how someone else said the same thing -- how hate isn't the opposite of love..... because with hate there's all this amount of "hurt/anger/upset*ness" associated with it & underneath all the "hate" feeling which means there's still "something" there.

but indifference (apathy) there's just NO emotion at all- and yah--- so i agree with that.... how indifference*nothingness is the opposite of love.....

anyways ...i'm totally rambling but i stop by your blog periodically and just wanted you to know that. hope you're enjoying a good weekend! : )