Hate bothers me. It's easy, obvious and negative. What I'm really bothered by though, even more than the initial object of my hate, is act of hating itself. I hate hating! And so it begs the question: could there be anything more annoying than hating hate? Yes. Trying to ignore the hate all together. It just doesn't work. As much as I've tried to ignore my hate by hating it, it doesn't go away. It lingers and festers, and becomes more glaringly obvious and terrible.
I realized this the other day while passing by a store front I hate. I've passed it hundreds and hundreds of times, always trying to ignore how much I hate it.
I couldn't do it anymore. So I stopped and allowed myself to just indulge in the hate. It went a little something like...
I hate this! I hate this so fucking much. This store is called "Het Bed" or "The Bed". Guess what they sell? Yup. Beds. I hate it. I hate its obvious name and complete lack of creativity and originality. I hate how often I see this sort of laziness from Dutch stores. Why are there so many boring store names like this?!?!
Almost immediately I felt guilty and disappointed about giving into my hate, when suddenly a brief moment of clarity hit me over the head. What's fantastic about "het bed" is that the people running this place just rolled up their sleeves, got to work, opened the store and started selling beds. Clearly, they didn't waste any time trying to come up with the perfect name and brand. Sure, this could help them sell more beds, but isn't selling some beds a perfectly good place to start?
I realized that instead of thinking these Dutch store fronts are lazy, I might try to consider how they aren't. You know what's not lazy? Running a business. So guess what, "Het Bed"? Hats off to you – you're a fine example prioritization and time management at its best.
"You can do anything, but not everything"
– David Allen
And the great news? You can change your name and brand any time now (and I highly recommend that you do!), but until then, you're selling beds and I've found a little admiration for you. And now when I pass "Het Bed", I'm no longer consumed by my hate. I simply look up at that stupid sign and I greet it with a smile.
By giving "Het Bed" the conviction of my hate, it showed me that there is something for me to love.
This little epiphany taught me that instead of pretending that hate isn't a part of my process, I should allow it to have its place. To do this, I've designed a little experiment for myself. From now on, instead of hating hate, I'm going to challenge myself to love hate. To explain how this might work, I'll reference a book I'm reading (and loving and can't recommend enough), The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera. Kundera writes,
"...love is a continual interrogation."
I love this in so many ways, but specifically in this case, it works so well. To love hate, I am committing to its continuous interrogation. My hypothesis is that in doing so, I'll see beyond hate's easy, obvious and negative faults, making room for hate to reveal more of its beauty and brilliance.