Q & A: Feeling hate for my ex.

Question: Feeling hate for my ex. 

Today I saw my ex-girlfriend and started getting negative feelings after seeing her with her new boyfriend. It’s not that I want her back because it’s been 2 years after we broke up. But she hurt me so much in our relationship that I still feel resentment. I recently started getting closer to God after realizing how much I needed His love in my life and I feel bad. I feel like I’m not supposed to have these negative feelings towards her.

My response:

Work through it. Whether or not you are supposed to have these feelings… they are there, so you can only face them honestly and seek understanding. Suppressing them in self-denial will only cause them to burn deeper and corrosively spread through your soul like a metastasizing cancer.

Do you know a reason we hold grudges and carry resentments? First, there is an attachment to something. Next, we feel someone took something precious away from us (severed or loosened the attachment). The sense of loss we feel through the experience is what causes the hurt and pain. But grudges and resentments develop when we feel the detriments of an experience far outweighs the benefits it provides. This imbalance is what we call “misfortune”. So, when we see or think of the person we feel was the harbinger of such suffering, we are reminded of the pain that says “you are the reason something more ideal was denied me”. Feeling this pain, our misery develops the binding rope called “grudge”. As misery likes company, a grudge is simply the wish for the person we hold responsible to experience a similar suffering and loss as intensely as we did. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only transformed or transferred. Thus, through a grudge (which often carries with it the wish for a corresponding retribution), we wish only to transfer our misery and, if possible, be a witness to the person’s suffering. The process of this personal transfer is what we call “revenge”. So it is true: hurt-people hurt people.

If this is true, then we also have the path leading to a solution. Since the grudges and resentments are formed when we feel the detriments of an experience far outweighs any of its inner developmental benefits, then to break this bitterness the following becomes clear: we have to seek the inner treasures the experience offers us that is indispensable for our spiritual development. When we put sincere effort in this direction, and we slowly recognize the essential nutrients that came to us through this hardship as a necessary aid for our inner development, which had to be given in this form, then over time we will gradually develop the strength of knowledge to sever the underlying roots of the grudge. In the process, we have to continue attuning our souls upward.

When you practice this, what will slowly happen is whenever you see her, thoughts of “what you lost” that cause the resentful feelings, will be gradually replaced with “what you gained” through the experience. Over time, this sense of gain will be seen as a gift. And where there is a gift, there is no grudge.

But this is a process that will not happen overnight and might take time, based on how deep the pain is and your general attitude. However, if you honestly confront these feelings and eventually resolve and purify them, then you would have conducted the spiritual alchemy of transforming pain into blessing , and the rock of ill-feelings into the gold of personal insight.

May you emerge successfully from this crucible. I wish you well.

~Ikenna Q. Ezealah

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