The Hate Monster and the Bitterness Pill.


Here is how the Hate Monster comes into your life.

You are in terrible pain and you hear a knock on your front door.

“What?” you growl, swinging it violently open.

“Hi there!” the beguiling hulk says cheerfully. “I understand you have some pain you’d like removed? I’m just the guy for the job. You give me the pain and I… take it away!”

“What’s the catch?” you ask, irritated that he’s even caught your attention.

“No catch! Give me your pain and I take it away and recycle it. Only one stipulation – I can only take away particular kinds of pain. I don’t do knees, gastrointestinal tract, cancer, that sort of thing.”

“Well, what do you take then?”

“I take any pain that is taking up space in your heart? That’s my specialty.”

As it turns out you have quite a lot of that, or at least some.

“How much do you take?” you ask in a suspicious tone.

“Only the bit that hurts! Everything else, I promise, will be left untouched.”

“OK,” you say. And the deal is done.

Only after he’s taken that part of your heart and recycled it into hate, do you recognize the catch. You’ve got less heart to use.

You’ve got less capacity.

For compassion.

For empathy.

For patience.

For trust.

For generosity.

For forgiveness.

For Love.

For Hope.

Every time the Hate Monster has persuaded you (often with little persuasion) to part with those pieces which hurt so badly, he leaves you with less and less storage for the qualities only your heart can produce which bring you life.

It is so tempting to answer his knock. “Anything but this pain,” you groan. “Hate will lighten my load, it will incinerate my roadblocks, it will give me energy and invigorate me out of this torpor.”

And it will. It will do all these things. Except what you will be left with is not life, but nothing. And nowhere to go. There aren’t any roadblocks because there’s so much less available road.

You got rid of the pain, but it was not redeemed. Instead, you let the pain take you, overcome you, destroy you.

Leaving you with less heart to move forward. To move beyond. To try again. To stay open to life in all its unimaginable possibilities.

Your lesser heart wants to make you stay indoors. Not try. Not help. Not hope. It’s too exhausting to hope when you have so little heart left to do all the jobs intended to be done by a whole one.

So if not to the Hate Monster, where will you go with your hurt?

And then there’s the Bitterness Pill. Most often provided by the Hate Monster to deaden the pain of getting parts of your heart removed. “This will help,” he assures you. “Nearly all my clients take this as a 2 for 1 deal. It makes a lot of sense really.”

So you’re persuaded to take the Bitterness Pill. But it doesn’t deaden the pain. It turns whatever is left of your heart sour. A sourness that leaves a nasty taste in your mouth that no amount of water, wine or wisdom can wash away.  It’s corrosive.

The sourness is so distracting that when people ask you a question, you can’t even hear them properly. “What are you asking of me now? Can’t you see I have this horrible taste in my mouth? It takes all my energy to just get through my day! Shut up and go away. Find someone who cares, because it won’t be me.

And they do. The people go away. And so the Hate Monster comes again and finds even more treasure waiting for him to consume. To “take away”. And you wash another Bitterness Pill down with the contaminated water he just happens to carry with him.

He says it’s water. It has the quality of water. It’s a liquid. But that’s where all similarity ends. Because it’s a toxic formula intended to slowly poison whatever pockets of your heart still hold life. To poison you slowly so you won’t even notice and stop it in time.

And so the cycle continues. Until you have no one who is willing to stay around you. No one who is willing to keep calling out the living heart that still beats within you, because you are actually still alive…

The Hate Monster and the Bitterness Pill are not our friends. Tempting as they both appear to be in the short-term/quick fix category.

They are merely deceivers. Out to kill, steal and destroy. Have nothing to do with them. And alert your neighbors to what they look like, how they appear.

If you do refuse to do business with either of them, what can you do with your pain? Where can you go?

I know of only One who has the mojo to heal and redeem what hurts so badly in the human heart.

And He’s already in the house.



Jsg/March 16

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