When I think about the differences between love, and hate, it’s difficult to erase the imagery of two balls of fire — of equal impact — fighting for the ultimate demise of the other.

Love can’t exist without hate. A Marvel blockbuster that would tank without an epic villain amidst a metropolitan street battle. Each have their own superpowers, admirers, and army. Some might even say they have equal power.

The two have a symbiotic relationship of give, and take. A necessary evil, amidst a magic that marvels us all.

As tiny humans it’s easy to find your tribe, when your days consist of recess, and multi-voiced choral renditions of songs about acceptance, love, and a bus whose wheels won’t stop.

Enter adolescence. Sort of an adult, but not really. You think you know who you are, what you want, and who your friends are. For many the circles remained the same. For others, finding a tribe in the first place was a Darwinian debacle.

What happens when you don’t fit the quota, and don’t want to? What happens when dreams are more intriguing than annotating Dorian Gray? What happens when — up until that point — you believed in your magic, individuality and potential?

What happened?

Many of us, can narrow — down to the exact moment — that we questioned our worth, place, and purpose in the world. Some down to the name(s) of the individual that changed the direction of neurological traffic in the first place.

As a result of their resilient opposition to love, they’ve gained a tribal name more commonly known as bullies, or “haters.” A tribe that’s made headlines as the culprit for the proliferation of mental health into the mainstream, with the age of infection, getting younger every year.

Prior to writing this, I “brain vomited” just a few of the verbatim quotes branded into my cerebellum, that more than a decade later, still make their way to the frontal lobe once in a while:

“You should really wear clothes that fit you, so I don’t have to watch your fat seep out on the floor.”

“You’re a bitch / over achiever / crazy”

“You care too much”

“So fckin annoying / outspoken / opinionated / loud”

“Why is your mouth so f** big?”

“You definitely don’t have a trainer’s body, I wouldn’t hire her.”

Suffice it to say, these are statements that would receive two middle-fingers in the air today. That doesn’t mean that the impact wasn’t felt. It’s important to add that partaking, not putting a stop to the negativity hurts just as bad.

Worse than the verbal, cyber varietals of bully experienced, is that of social alienation.

Social alienation can be perpetuated by the beliefs, or influence of others — and/or self inflicted by the affected individual. Enter freshman year in high school, age 14. Within 90 days I went from self confident, goal-oriented, and passionate, to sit down, shut up, and say nothing — “no one wants you here.”

Social alienation, in human evolution, is linked to disapproval, and subsequent removal from the tribe.

A sentence of certain death. Like being voted off survivor, but less fun.

The cycle seems to have no end.  It doesn’t stop and end with a single interaction. There’s a real trickle down effect. Being a recipient of a bully isn’t fun, and doesn’t make you want to keep the love flowing.

Often times the negativity experienced is so powerful, it becomes normal; anticipated.

Bullies bombard you with reflections of their world view, seeing you as the source of their unhappiness. Eliciting emotions out of you like fear, doubt, anxiety, and sadness, to validate their conscious understandings.

These yield louder emotional responses — thereby demanding more attention as a result of the threats they pose to the body —  than that of peace or happiness. The most primal section of the brain, The Reptilian Brain, primes the body to respond under attack. Releasing hormones like adrenaline, dopamine, and cortisol, to alert the body of a feverish threat.

As a result, another’s truths, become your reality by attribution. The tribe has spoken. You’re left alone to assume it’s popular opinion and accept a truth that “no one likes, understands, or wants around.”

Let me let you in on a little secret. People hate what they don’t understand, and reject those that threaten the tribe they’ve fought to be accepted by.

Whether the modern human wants to admit it or not, we are designed to survive as a tribe. Humans helping humans evolve, learn, grow, and survive. Generations of villages, made up of individuals with powers entirely their own, selflessly offering them up for the betterment of the collective community.

The hippy in me is a believe there love will always trump hate in the end — but that doesn’t mean it’s knockout fight. They’re both strong, and seldom looking to scurry away anytime soon.

More powerful than love, is truth. When you are anchored in your truth, hate cannot and will not touch you — it’ll try — but truth is the victor every round.

Should my bullies ever come across this, I hope they know how grateful I am.

For the power of their hatred, and the greatest sparring brawls with negativity I’ve ever known.

You’ve prepared me for a life you hoped I couldn’t dream into reality. You are the greatest pre workout, I’ve ever tried.

You primed me to conquer my confidence, triumph with truth, persevere through positivity, and know what it’s like to live on the outside of the norm. It’s freeing — and really fun.

Stand in your truth, and move for no one. Share your gifts, and silence them for no one. Be love, and share it with everyone.

The more powerful hate is, the more legendary love has to be to win the fight. Don’t doubt your power, truth, goals or beliefs. They’re custom tailored to your world, and perfect as they are. If anyone doesn’t understand, throws hate your way, welcome it with love, then continue on your merry way.

‘Cause who wants their fate at the hands of others, anyway?


[ I want to take a small moment here and apologized to anyone  reading this who may have been on the receiving end of my dementors… you never deserved that — and I hope you know how loved you are, and deserve to be].

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