Why we secretly love to hate
About a month ago I was giving a talk at a Friday night couples retreat. I stood with $5 in my hand and said, "If anyone can tell me how to give up blaming others, I will give you five dollars." (I know, I know, I'm a big spender). As hands raised people gave great answers, such as you have to hold yourself accountable, or you have to try and see things from the other persons perspective. All good and honestly "right" answers...however, the answer I know of is much simpler. If we want to give up blame, we have to want to.
We have to want to because although it's hard to admit it, most of us have a dark side. A side to us that only comes out in certain situations. This doesn't mean our character is bad, or our integrity is shot, rather, that we have the propensity to feel emotions very powerfully and can sometimes be so overcome that we do, say, and think things that aren't too heavenly.
We secretly love to hate because of the freedom it gives us from taking accountability for ourselves. May I say momentary freedom, because at some point we will all be called out onto the rug. We secretly love to hate because we have been hurt by the person we hate. We become their justice keeper...the person that punishes them. We punish them through the distance and rigidity we create within the relationship. As we distance and "hate" them, the other person feels the pain. The problem is, distancing ourselves from them is the poorest attempt we'll ever make at achieving what we're actually wanting...connection.
I know hate is a strong word and emotion, but so is love. It's only in the power of the light of love that hate has the energy to exist. In other words, most people don't feel powerful hate towards Adolf Hitler as they would a spouse who was unfaithful, or a teenager towards a parent. We don't actively hate Hitler, because we've never known to love him.
I dare say this, that even God himself cannot heal a relationship, cure an anxiety, or change a habit, if we are not willing to give up our blame. Blame is a choice, and to be forced out of it is to alter the laws of God. We have to be willing to forgive (give up blame) and see the other person in the humanity they exist in.
One quick tip in overcoming blame. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT BENEFIT WE ARE RECEIVING FROM THE BLAME WE ARE HOLDING. Our blame(s) has pros and cons. Often times we don't look into why we like it, which only blinds us to why we can't get rid of it. Find why you like your blame, challenge why you like it with greater good, and see the person as a human. This will do a world of good. Trust me.