I have a lot of trouble with the term “haters”. Not for the fact that these people do not exist, but I run a household where my children are not even allowed to use the word hate and I abstain from using it myself, so understandably calling people haters should rub me the wrong way. And yes, in some ways these people may be very much absorbed with hating rather than loving, but this is all cased by fear and we know it. We know it because we have all been there before. We had to at one point be there to finally find our way here. We were afraid of thinking along new lines once, we were afraid to open our eyes because we knew how overwhelming the reality would be, and we were afraid to try because we knew how much failure can hurt. It is not right for us to belittle people who are afraid and lash out in fear by calling them haters. We have come a long way, and accepting them graciously is a good exercise.
Yesterday I got virtually (as in via the virtual world) yelled at because I pointed out that a friend’s repeated mockery of people with dietary restrictions was without base and unkind. I did this because this has happened a few times now, and I felt that as a person who suffers severely from food intolerances I was a decent representative of the fact that they are indeed not made up. I felt a responsibility to point out that the behavior was hurtful. I was prepared for some backlash, because no one takes well to being pointed out for hurting people’s feelings. I didn’t have myself quite prepared for the ferocity of the reaction however. I upset this person so deeply that they felt it necessary to inform me that they basically disagreed with the majority of what matters to me, and that they were standing on the high ground because they were polite enough not to mention it. In other words, I have been being judged from afar for countless years by this person… it is not a very fuzzy feeling.
So those of us who write and publish and put things out there in the face of the public often cope with all of the judgment by telling ourselves that the haters are always going to be there, and not to sweat it, and we move on. This practice is basically very healthy…except for the fact that we are labeling these poor people and that is not right. When we believe ourselves to be open minded, forward thinking, supportive people, we should not allow ourselves to be comfortable with the act of stooping to the level where we would label a fearful person as a hater. Yes, they fear our success, and our happiness. They give us all sorts of labels, and make up explanations for our total lack of sanity. In the end though, they are just scared, and unconfident, and jealous. We are not being true to ourselves if we put them down by labeling them as people who hate everything, because our job is to lift them up.
So my knee jerk reaction to all of this that happened was to fight back and stand up for myself, or at least to block this other person from being able to stalk me with all of their nasty negative energy. I didn’t do either of those things though. Engaging in an online argument would have been pointless and immature. Taking my light away from someone just because they choose to sit and scoff at it today is not a pro-active reaction. It makes me a stronger person to continue to stand proudly and share who I am even in the knowledge that I am not being well received. It is not freaking easy, but it is absolutely necessary, and in the end it does nothing but make me strong and fuel me with pride for not reacting to negative attention, but rather responding generosity and love.