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Draining Hate

I knew the distance for the run that day would be long, for me anyway. I was working my way up to running a half marathon and the training distance that morning was 20 km or around 12.4 miles. I knew that it would take me around two hours and that I would be very happy to finish. I knew all that because the run the prior week had been 18 km. What I was not prepared for was the wind and the cold.

I’m not a fan of cold temperatures. Have I mentioned that before? It did not take me long to feel truly miserable, my mind racing, focused on all the reasons why I hate the cold. Unfortunately, that word, hate, became my mantra that morning. I spent the 20 km and two hours of my life generating hate, feeling hate, shouting hate in my brain and it was totally draining.

I finished the run more tired than I’d felt on any other run. I finished it feeling low, wanting to crawl under a rock and hide and be miserable by myself. It wasn’t a great feeling and it took a while to understand how I got myself there. I made a comment about it on Facebook and one of my friends said, “It takes serious discipline to hate every minute of a 20 km run.” He was right and I wondered if I could use that discipline in a more productive way.

We tend to use the word ‘hate’ to cover an enormous range of feelings and situations from simply hating a vegetable, or doing a particular task, to hating people based on their beliefs. According to Dr. Charles Raison, associate professor of psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine, hate is a negative mental state, often mixed with fear and anger, and can lead to bitterness.

In fact, "The data that negative mental states cause heart problems is just stupendous," Dr. Raison says and, "The data is just as established as smoking, and the size of the effect is the same." Not to mention the numerous other health issues caused by negative attitudes and the stress they create. As I thought about the cold and windy run I remembered having used the phrase ‘my body is a beautiful thing’ to help keep me going the first time I ran 16 km. It had made me feel lighter each time I said it and I had finished the run in a vastly different frame of mind.

If you are like me then your body doesn’t work the way it used to and may be in constant pain. You may have grown to hate the pain but if your internal mental chatter is continuously spouting hate how is that going to help in healing your body? No doubt reaching a place of love about a body in pain will not be easy but have you tried?

Start by becoming aware of your mental chatter – about the pain, how you feel, what you can and cannot do because of the pain.

As you are able, remind yourself that your body is doing the best it can with what it has.

Support yourself in simple uplifting ways. I found upbeat songs to sing after my deflating run that brought my energy levels soaring again.

Most of all, remember that when you fill yourself with love there will be no room for anything else and you will radiate that love.

Do you have healing stories of love? Share them with me on Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you.

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