Si vis pacem, para bellum (If you want peace, prepare for war) said the Latin author Vegetius. Likewise, if you want love, prepare for hatred.
The movies show love as a constant flow of warmth, care, and affection between people. But the movies are wrong. Before every positive emotion there is preceded a negative one, which triggers the onset of the positive. Just as night precedes the day, hate precedes love. The only exception to that is a mother’s love, but that’s because the mother perceives her baby as part of herself. But with any other person, to develop real emotions, we must constantly shift between hate and love in different manifestations and varying intensities.
In fact, this is the principle that sets all of creation into motion. The heat waves and cold spells, the floods and the droughts, the hate and the love, all these are alternating displays of hate and love.
There is a purpose behind them: Their growing intensity, especially when it’s on the negative side, prompts us to look for their source. Why is there so much hatred? Why is nature so cruel? Why am I never satisfied with what I have? Why is there no peace? Why am I afraid? When you try to answer those questions, you find that they come from the same invisible source, and that source is nature, or simply, reality.
Every single mineral, plant, animal, or person, thought, desire, or word is created by nature. Now, if nature is the source of everything, then everything is part of nature, part of the whole. And just as there are days and nights, there are people I hate and people I love. So just as there wouldn’t be days if there were no nights, there wouldn’t be people I love if there wouldn’t be people I hate. In fact, I wouldn’t be able define what I love, what I hate, who I am, and who I am not were it not for all those things that I regard as negative. It turns out that I, with my limited vision, see them as negative, but they are not; they are opposite from me so that I will be able to learn about myself and nature. Were it not for them, I would be clueless about my whole existence.
It turns out that the fact that I have been made privy to my hatred toward this or that person allows me to discover who I am and what I have inside. In fact, I should be grateful to that person. The wisest of all men, King Solomon, called this concept, “Love covers all crimes” (Prov. 10:12), where the crime is hatred and love covers the hatred once we discover that our hated object is actually a gift we have been given. At that moment, alienation dissolves and love and gratitude emerge.