Hatred, in the course of time, kills the unhappy wretch who delights in nursing it in his bosom. – Giacomo Casanova
What does that mean?
This is an interesting quote, and it is about the end result of a lifetime of hatred. As you might guess, it doesn’t end well for the hater. The interesting twist is that the writer of this quote is none other than the legendary lover, Casanova.
The quote warns us not to hold hatred close to our hearts. It says in doing so, we will surely kill ourselves with it. There is also the caveat that it may take a little time, and that you will become an unhappy wretch in the process, but death is inevitable.
While it might not be the literal truth, hatred (when held strongly and closely) will cause you some health issues. If you allow it to become an obsecession, it will likely cause you other troubles, including financial and possibly even legal troubles. And that is definitely not good.
Why is forgiveness important?
Back in his era, social morals relating to love and seduction were quite different than they are today. However, jealousy and hatred were just as potent then as they are now. The number of women he seduced in his time certainly added to the numbers of men who hated him.
This lead to him being shot at, banished from more than a few households, as well as at least one assassination attempt. While I imagine he was forgiven by a few, that was probably not the majority opinion. The question is how would you treat him today, were he to pass through your life?
Would you be able to forgive him for his past transgressions? What would your feelings be if he repeated some of his activities around you, your friends, or your family? Could you forgive him then? More importantly, would you forgive him in 10 years time? In twenty? In fifty?
Forgiveness allows us to release the poison which is hatred. It allows us to purge it from our system, and to lighten our load. If you were playing along, you were probably frowning by the end of the prior paragraph, and are feeling much lighter now, right? That is what forgiveness does for us.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Let’s start big; if you were on your death-bed, which of the people you hate, or at least strongly dislike, would you forgive? Or would you want to take that hate with you as you exit this life and this world? Depending on your beliefs, that might not be considered much of a burden, but I wouldn’t want to go out that way.
The idea is that if you could forgive someone on your death-bed, or sometime much later in life, why couldn’t you forgive them sooner? If you said you could forgive them in 20 years, I’d ask why not 19? What changes in that last year that turns hatred into forgiveness?
If you cannot answer that question clearly and with conviction, I would then ask about 18, then 17, until we were down to a year from now. The reason is simple, really. If you can eventually forgive someone, why not do it sooner, rather than later?
What do you gain from an extra year of hatred? What will be better for the year spent nursing it at your bosom? Or will that extra year only cause damage to your heart (metaphorically)? I don’t see how it could possibly help, do you? Leave a comment if you’d like to try to explain it to me.
When I was younger, I had a few passionate dislikes, even a little hatred, for some people in, and out of, my life. I have learned that the hatred did little to help me do anything other than pour acid on my soul. By hating, I ended up doing more damage to myself than the other person could ever have dreamed of doing to me.
How has your experience with hatred gone? Are there any people you have forgiven in the past which you could use to help measure what the hatred has gained you, and for good or ill? I’m serious, take a moment and think of the people, and try to figure out what damage the hatred did to you.
Did it blind you to new possibilities or opportunities? Did it twist your mind or heart? Where do you think I got such probing questions? But the real question is what is hatred costing you, and what would forgiveness get you instead.
I know, there are things you claim you could never forgive, I get that. I could probably think of a few myself. However, holding on to hatred will not make any of the hurt go away, and only serves to harm you, compounding the hurt. That’s not good, is it?
If possible, I would ask you to consider dismissing them, and dissolving the hatred. It might not get you the benefits of forgiveness, but at least you can cast out the hatred, before it has the time to kill you slowly from within. At least that’s what the quote says it will do. Do you doubt it?
And if you say that you don’t really hate them all that much, then you have even less reason not to forgive them, right? If you are having trouble, keep questioning your reasons for hate, and ask if it does them or you more harm.
If you repeat these questions, and are honest with your answers, I believe you will find it easier to forgive than to hate.
From: Twitter, @QuietMindSystem
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/giacomocas316362.html
Photo by Jan Tik
Happy birthday to Giacomo Casanova (yes, that Casanova), born 2 April 1725.