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  • Writer's pictureDr. Keisha

Letting Go: Love, Hate & Indifference, (Part 2 of 3)

One of the most profound quotes I have read was by Elie Wiesel. He stated; “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference….”. This quote is meaningful to me because it clarifies the misconception that love and hate are polar opposites. It also helps us to understand how the love/hate energy hinders us from letting go of unhealthy or unwanted relationships and actually keeps us bound to them.

I think many convince themselves that in order to move beyond love they must default to hate and hostility. As if hate will make ‘moving on’ easier. However, I view the relationship between love and hate as interrelated. I would compare it to that of siblings? Maybe not twins – but very close. When you think about it; love and hate function the same, they feel the same and even look similar at times. For example: love causes you to think about someone often – so does hate; love impacts our physiological state (loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, etc.) – so does hate, love takes up a lot of emotional energy – so does hate, and love can be irrational – so can hate. It becomes clear that love and hate cannot be strongly opposing when they are practically interchangeable.

So how is indifference related to the love/hate family? I would at least consider it a distant cousin. Indifference understands the family dynamics but does not share the emotional intensity within the family. Indifference is the ‘laid back’ family member. Indifference says I am not emotionally bound to a person or thing. Indifference prevents us from experiencing the love-driven emotional pain that comes with letting go; while eliminating the emotional drive necessary to fuel hate. Indifference is not enmeshed. It does not allow us to devote so much time, energy and power to something we are trying to release. Indifference is not emotionally consuming. Indifference allows us to move BEYOND love and/or hate and provides us with the emotional space necessary to let go.

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