Originally written 6.23.20
The opposite of love is not hate. It might not even be apathy, which is what I used to believe for most of my marriage. The opposite of love is fear. When you don’t love someone, or think they don’t love you, there’s an instant fear. Apathy is a byproduct of time and disconnect and disassociation. Hate is an immediate reaction to someone or something based on our own personal, long-held beliefs of words, actions, or thoughts. We can even go so far as to deny the fact that we breathe the same oxygen and drink the same water to survive if we are triggered deeply enough by another. Hate is a denial, pure, flat-out, unyielding denial that there are any–even the most tiny and minute thread–similarities. The problem with hate is that it is an incredibly topical, surface level reaction not always pursued with intellect and examination, but a pronouncement on a judgement of limited means or input. Hate is ignorance.