I Love You; I Hate You!

Posted: March 8, 2010 in family, love
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s weird, but sometimes the people we love the most we hate the most.  We don’t really hate them, but we sometimes have the strongest negative emotions that we have ever felt, toward them. At a moment of conflict, it feels like hate.

This is something we don’t want to admit. It sounds wrong, but really it’s quite normal. Feelings of love and hate live closer to each other than we may want to admit. We act the dance between the two out. We yell at a spouse or child, criticizing them for something they did or didn’t do, or we simmer inside, silently furious that they have neglected or hurt us, but afraid of our own emotions and afraid of conflict. And yet at the same time, we know we profoundly love them and are committed to them.

Why do we sometimes feel so strongly against those we love? There is so much at stake. Close, family relationships have a huge impact on identity, who we are or think we are. In these relationships we gain a deep sense of worth, and that this can be enhanced or damaged by the loved person. Family relationships also control us, adding to or limiting what we get from life in the crucial areas of money, sex and power. Either gain or loss of what we need amp up our emotions and stir fires of deep calm or anger in us.

We may conflict in a casual relationship without much consequence, but we know that a fight with a spouse or child matters. Our feelings in these relationships flash on brightly, like red lights at busy intersections at night.

What do we do with these feelings? We should honor them, we should accept them, we do best to lean into them. They help us. They are our friends. They tell us that we care. They tell us that these relationships matter. They are normal, and we normalize them by not denying them. And we honor them by acting on them; yes, we act on them by having the needed talk, by working out the needed negotiation, by giving time to process these valuable feelings.

This is life. Feel. You  love. Feel. You  matter. Feel. You have relationships that are important enough to fight for, to care for, to resolve.

Feel. You are alive!

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