We live in a world where it would be easy to hate those who hate. Yet any of us who have been on the receiving end of hate know dishing out what we get is not the behavior that creates our best life. Growing up I was hated by many people for being gay. This caused a deep, painful wounding within me. Today, I am still disliked by those who do not care to look beyond labels to find out who I am inside. We now have evidence of biological causes as science is helping us learn acceptance of sexual orientation difference. And, there are still those who react to my being gay with judgment and hate.
For many people it is easier to blindly follow what they are taught to believe by religion or family bias rather than consider the merit of scientific discovery and the advice we now receive from modern religious scholars to keep in mind the ancient societies in which these beliefs were created. Long ago I let go of the idea I can fight fire with fire and not expect to get burned. Therefore, I don’t hate the haters and I no longer allow the judgment of others to impact how I choose to view myself. I no longer loath myself for being born the way I am. I no longer wish I had been born different or feel I have to be someone other than who I am comfortable being just to appease others. Staying true to who I am in the midst of hate, judgment and attempts to change me, grew my self-respect and empathy because with a little self-assessment we realize each of us has, at one time or another, experienced ridicule for being “different.” That is reason enough for compassion.
Today, I know in my heart being gay is okay with the God of my belief, who is and will always be, love. I am also confident being judgmental, hateful and fearful is not okay with God. While I cannot stop people from hating me or anyone else for that matter, I can work hard each day to be kind, compassionate, accepting and forgiving. I am not perfect but I am devoted to living my best life because I am confident God cares more about me striving to be a person of good, respectful character than my being with Barbara instead of Bruce, Billy or Brian.
The truth is not everyone will like you. Some may even judge and hate you for being who you are. But if you respect yourself and you stay respectful of others, that is much more important than being liked. Refuse to fight fire with fire. Don’t hate those who hate.