My Relationships Transforming Hurt and Hate into Peace and Love by Kate Seddon The power that hate can have over a person is beyond wild. Due to a broken relationship I found myself in, I was led to a state of hate, anger, self-hatred, and isolation. Everything I used to find joy in, became a burden and something I despised. I became distant with everyone I knew because I was afraid of showing my struggles and how they were tearing me apart. I had not only completely isolated myself from my friends and family, but most importantly, from my Heavenly Father. Struggling through severe depression and anxiety that almost cost me my life, I knew something need to change. In order to begin this change, I received help from multiple counselors, who helped me confront my anxiety and depression head on and realize the direct impact it had on my spiritual life. Reaching out to my youth minister, core members, and other people at my church, I began to confront the spiritual block I put up between God and me. In the midst of my pain, I decided to go on a very unique retreat with my church called Kairos. During retreat, I had to confront the reality that there was real pain which was generating real hate in my heart, making me unable to love freely. I was encouraged by a core member to offer everything I was feeling, all the hate, hurt, pain, and words up to my Good Shepherd. Walking into adoration, I was exhausted. I was tired of feeling like I was doing all this on my own. I had been carrying this large cross on my back with no one to help me. I knelt before the monstrance and began praying aloud, giving up my hate, anger, and pain to the Heavenly Father. Offering it Up I expressed my exhaustion, my pain, my fears and gave it all over to Christ, and that was the most authentic I had been with Him in a very long time. Immediately after relinquishing all of my fears to Him I took in a full, deep breath for the first time in a very long time, and walked back to my seat with a new sense of freedom. Offering this hatred up to the Heavenly Father who loves me with unconditional love, has changed my life. I’m not perfect, but I am beginning to let go of hatred and learning to choose to forgive. Cross = Love Sometimes, the closest people in our lives end up hurting us the most. They might make you feel worthless, unwanted, inadequate, manipulated, and conditioned to believe that everything is your fault. When someone in your life makes you feel this way, I encourage you to look at the cross. Look at the God who loved you so much He created you. The God who literally died on a cross to be able to suffer with you in your darkest moments. The God who will never leave you no matter how many times you run away. Look at the cross, because the cross is the very definition of true love. If you feel like you are going through everything on your own and you are at the point where you just can’t take it anymore, I encourage you to offer it up to the One who desires to suffer with you. I encourage you to put all of the pain and hurt you have experienced from whoever that person might be into His hands and begin to see the good in them. Offering it up is not a quick fix or a simple solution. It will be a very treacherous process that will be turbulent and stressful. You might feel like you are on a rocky sea, with no land in sight. If you feel like you want to give up on this journey, it is imperative that you keep your eyes fixed on the cross, your heart locked on the good, and your mind focused on learning to love again. The Lord will help you in these times; he will calm the seas, just like He did on the Sea of Galilee. These lessons are important to everyday life, but they are especially important when you are learning how to love in the midst of pain, anger, and hate.