I was recently infuriated past anything I have felt in a long time. Someone made judgmental statements about another person, and rage consumed me so quickly that I found myself shaking in anger and in desperate need to escape the room as quickly as possible (I did). I wanted to shout, and scream, and describe to that person in terrific detail just how ignorant they truly were.
I was mad at the person for thinking they had any right to pass judgment on others. Who did they think they were, to be able to mouth off that way? Did they even know the other person personally? Why were they spouting opinions that were spoon-fed to them in the first place, as if they knew anything?
I was mad at myself, for not exploding at them the way I had so badly wanted to. Clearly, their monumental stupidity deserved some type of backlash, and wasn’t I just the perfect person to call their attention to their bigotry? Why yes, I certainly thought I was!
The truth was that I wanted to pass judgment on the other person’s judgment. My gut churned as if filled with poison. I couldn’t think straight, and ran through scenario after scenario in my mind where I got to call the other person all the names I had fervently cooked up in my impassioned state.
But the truth was, I realized as I calmed down, that I was hanging on to hate because in its own strange way, it felt good. Despite the negative emotions and the churning in my gut, I felt right, I felt vindicated. I was being hateful only because the other person had been hateful first, and that somehow made it all right.
And really, it isn’t. Never mind the fact that no one is worth making us feel so full of hate and anger and misery. The bottom line is that it is not helpful for us to pass judgment on another, regardless of what they have done.
Rather, it is better, healthier for us to reserve our judgments and instead focus on how we are feeling, and on maintaining happiness and positivity within ourselves. Someone else’s belligerence is no reason for us to feel anger or anxiety. That is their issue to deal with, not ours.
Instead of fostering hatred for the people and opinions we disagree with, it would behoove us to let them go, for they are not our problems.
In the end, we are responsible only for ourselves and being the best that we can be. It is healthier to shrug off toxic emotions than to foster them and their eventual consequences. If we learn to let go, we free ourselves to be healthy, happy and whole.