When you’re curious about who you are and how you feel, hate is a shortcut to informing you what works for you and what most decidedly does not.

It can also act like the schoolboy of days gone by, dunking his crush’s pigtails in ink because he can’t admit to her (or himself) how much he likes her. (Days gone by refer to the ink but not to the behavior of masking our like with dislike so that we don’t have to suffer possible rejection. Like how I hate Yann Martel, because his writing is so brilliant and emotionally charged and irreverently grammarized and real and raw and penetrating into the part of me that I thought was well-hidden, such that all I can do is hate him for even existing and making me love him so much that I cannot finish his last book for fear that there will not be another. Like that.)

Hate can be great when it tells you what you are angry about, and where your passions lie. It is an indicator for when someone has overstepped your boundaries or values (and for when you have overstepped them for yourself).

Mostly hate is great because it’s part of our emotional lexicon — and if it’s there and you’re feeling it then it must be OK. Because if it isn’t then all you can do is hate yourself for feeling it – and how not great is that??

And generally when you’re hating yourself, then, like the boy with the pigtails in the ink, it’s not so much hate but love and desire – wanting something but being afraid that you won’t get it or can’t have it. In which case, it’s a great time to check in kindly and ask yourself what you want and see if there’s any room to give it to yourself. And if you cannot, then to take a moment to mourn for that which you cannot have, and loosen the emotion around it. so that it doesn’t backfire into your sweet self. Because hate can be great as a tool, a clue, a passing emotion. But in the end it is just a story that, no matter how brilliant, is a fictional depiction of who you really are.