Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Hater's Number: Odds Are, You Have It Already




There's a lot of talk of hateration and holleration going on right now and even though I dislike shining any sort of light on these people (because when you show them they've wounded you, they are "encouraged" to be even more ferocious), sometimes it's necessary to talk about them. And why they are the way they are.

I'll share an example of what happened to me a short while ago. I'll just say that something happened that upset me a great deal and I couldn't stand being in the house another minute. I HAD to get outside for a bit. I put on a floppy hat to shade me from the Sun and I was wearing what only can be described as loose fitting gym clothes. I wasn't concerned with how I looked (which is very unusual for me), I just needed to get out. I went out for a walk to a place I go to when I need to be by myself. I prayed and I cried and I let everything out. And then I went home. And on the way back I heard that some black women were calling to each other to look at me being "disheveled" as I walked by and to gather around and talk about me as I was passing by them on the way home from my walk. I heard them and was tempted to say nothing, but in my spirit I knew a response was necessary.
I turned, smiled and said, "God bless you." and then went on my way.

From that moment on, I was absolutely resolved to NEVER leave the house looking anything less than flawless. And I'm already planning my fall/winter wardrobe to ensure I look even more fabulous for the rest of the year.

It amazed me that these women who I did not know from Adam, who I'd never said a word to ever and didn't know them even indirectly, were so invested in how I looked that they took glee in me clearly being out of sorts. I ordinary look my best and carry myself with confidence and a cheerful demeanor. These persons, clearly lacking in self-confidence, were happy for an opportunity to see me looking and feeling less than stellar. Who in the world has that kind of time to be mentally and emotionally invested in someone they don't know and will never meet?!
It's another form of "You think you're better than me?"-ism that you see expressed by low-minded people who just sit around looking for an opportunity to spew venom and hope that they are hurting someone who they feel threatened by. It's funny because outside of this article, I will never think of these people again, except maybe a thanks for inspiring me to buy that skirt I wasn't sure about spending the extra money on but will be sure to rock with all my might. They will still be standing around hating, and I will be going on with my life. Two ships passing in the night, and one of them is named "Titanic". Let them sink with their fears and cowardice and self-hatred; I'd rather sail on into a brighter tomorrow.

Admittedly, I've tangled with the green-eyed monster myself-we all have, it's an aspect of human nature. But this type of behavior is something else entirely. There is no justification for it. None. You cannot claim injury, hurt, or any type of anguish that would make the emotional investment that these type of people have in the pain and failure of another person sound. So then it must be something else.

Jealousy? I hate the word because I feel it is an easy out for the pathology we witness in people like who I described and people who regularly attack BW-centric messages.

I think what it is, plain and simple, is recognized lacking. Opposites attract, and negative energy is drawn to positive energy: These people will look at you and look to you because they see in you things that are lacking within themselves. They hate you not because of who you are, but because they can see what it is they are missing from their own lives, manifested as a blessing or as good fortune in someone else.

These people are suffering. And often, the people they are hating on have suffered or are themselves suffering. But what separates the hater's suffering from the hated-on is that they are not suffering on the way to something beautiful and fulfilling. My dad always told me, "Suffering is a strong possibility in this life....why not suffer on the way to something great?" Indeed, suffering is a big part of the culture for many black people. The many stories told about how we were denied opportunities and discriminated against and made outsiders. I suspect that many haters of upwardly mobile black women take their own suffering to be an affirmation of their identity as a black person. They tell themselves they must be low and stagnant because that's how it was for blacks in the past, and that's the surest way to assure everyone that you are black. They build this reality around the idea that they must remain downwardly mobile and omitted from the promised "American Dream" that all persons who are born or come here should have the right to. So when they see someone suffering on the way to something good, or succeeding despite having to suffer the existence of haters like them, it upsets them in a big way.

 No matter how hard these people hate on you, they will still be suffering and with nothing to show for it.

The aspect of you that they hate on, meanwhile, will never find its way into their own lives because regardless of whether you succeed or fail, your success or failure is entirely your own. That unique talent, light, or hope that drives you belongs ONLY to you and cannot be replicated. These persons have a choice: They can find their own light and "let it shine" so to speak or they can spend the rest of their lives praying other lights go out and that somehow this magically alleviates their own pain. Spoiler for haters reading this right now: No, it won't.

And so I end with the title: You, through finding your own inspiration, through shining your own light, through making the decision to be the best person you can have everything necessary to defeat these persons. Because they can never win against a reality that says that they will be nothing so long as all they have going for themselves is how badly someone else is doing or feeling. If the failure of other people is the closest you can get to fulfillment, you have nothing and will NEVER have anything. The only way to change this is to re-focus your life energy on your own situation. To stop hiding from and accept that your life is not what you want and its on you and you alone to alter this. And then to acknowledge your mistakes, your self-loathing, your fears of failure and to press on anyway.

Suffering and missteps will likely happen. But let it be on the way to something brilliant, something that is totally and wonderfully and uniquely your own.

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