Freeing myself from hate

A teenager’s journey from hate to forgiveness

Dominique Bai, Design Editor

Hate was the defining characteristic in our relationship for a long time. However, at one point in my life, I knew him. Once upon a time, I genuinely cared for him, and I respected him as a person, and at one point, he viewed me as someone he trusted. That is the reason why I forgave him. I forgave him because he is just like me. He is someone who makes mistakes, who feels.

If hatred could be described as a color, most people would say that it is black. However, as a person who bears hate, hatred is a lot less blatantly stated then just black. When I think of him, I see colors. I see purple, orange, and red, sharp piercing colors that describe perfectly the depth of hatred I have for him.  Each of those colors bear memories of events that let the hate grow, until it grew to a huge fiery ball of flames that became a monster of animosity in my heart.

He is my age, and at one point of my life, he was a friend. During those days, we would spend many days talking to each other, developing a friendly platonic relationship. I can say pretty confidently that I knew him because he told me his hobbies, his family life, his beliefs, and his school life. I don’t know when things started to go wrong, but we stopped talking after sophomore year. After that, our relationship had never been the same. He began to transform into someone full of criticism and hypocritical tendencies. We were both leaders in a bible study group, and he hated how I handled some things, so we began to go through arguments, spouting harsh words and ignoring each other every time we saw each other. His every word and action was so detestable to me that I wanted to hurt him. During random times of the day, I would be reminded of him and then the feeling of hate will creep up my spine once more, like a creature filled with venom and ready to strike. I hated him, and I was fine with that.

However, I do not know what pushed me to do it, but on one Thursday night, I decided to read our past messages. I guess for a while I wanted to be empathetic towards him, so I could understand why he had become someone I hated. I hated him to a point that I had forgotten who he was as a person, so I was curious to see why we were once friends. Therefore, I went on Facebook and scrolled up to two years ago, the first time we had talked. The conversations started with him introducing himself and describing his life. He was in various extracurricular activities and played many different sports. For the first time, I realize that he was a lot like me in that aspect. He had passion and love for life, and his struggles were just as real as mine. In the messages, I could tell that I was eager to talk to him, and I recognized excitement in my tone and expressions. That same enthusiasm was also reciprocated by his eagerness to get to know me, and with every detail I told him, he replied with understanding and honesty. The messages ended after a while, and we stopped talking after two months.

I am glad to say that he and I rekindled our friendship after a serious talk. I discovered that his own personal struggles was the reason for his bitterness towards me, and all it took was respectful communication to clear the hate.