“Stronger than Lover’s Love is Lover’s hate. Incurable, in each, the wounds they make.”
― Euripides, Medea
I didn’t believe it when I was told that there was a thin line between love and hate. I never understood how trully blurred the lines of love and hate were and the many shades of grey that lay in between those two emotions. And then I came across Euripides’ quote (on the door of my wardrobe, of course) and I was forced to ponder on the verity of his words.
Love- passionate, and by definition, abstract.
What does it mean to love someone? To love another human being means the willingness to do anything for that person, regardless of your own personal happiness. You wish them the best in everything that they do, even if it means leaving you behind.
It is an abstract thing and yet it’s tangible effects are seen around us every single day- in the way we treat each other, our careers, and our friendships. We pour our all into these things-our time, our energy, our money, our emotions and our vulnerabilities.
We trust those that we love to never betray us because they have seen us for who we are and they have stayed. We put our energy into the things that we love in the hope that they will bring us success and we treat those around us with respect because we would like them to treat us in the same regard, with the same level of respect.
Why is it that when someone that you don’t particularly care for does something to hurt you, the effort that you put into disliking them is minimal? It is almost too easy to disregard them and move on with your life.
But it becomes a different ball game altogether when someone you care for does the same. Or perhaps does something even more minor. The wrong doing stays on your mind, and you dissect everything that they had ever said or done to you. Where was the lie? And why had you been blind to it?
Hate- passionate, and by definition, abstract.
Or as the online dictionary defines it -“A passionate dislike of something or someone”.
What does it really mean to passionately dislike something or someone? Is it a flame that burns in your soul, the same way love can course through your veins like smelted metal?
One thing that science has taught me is that energy is transferrable and it can not be destroyed. It merely takes different forms. The same energy that you put into loving someone will be negatively translated into hate, when that love turns bitter.
It takes the same amount of energy, if not more, to hate someone as it does to love them . It takes the same amount of time to plot against them as it does to wish them well. And it takes an awful lot of effort to think about how bad they hurt you and how badly you want to hurt them in return.
When you loved them, you had loved them simply because you loved them.
But now. Now you hate them because you had made the mistake of loving them and because they had betrayed you.
The intensity of that emotion can come to consume you, just like in Euripides’ original play, where his character, Medea kills her own children as the price that needed to be paid for her heartbreak by the hand of their father. The pain that their loss will cause her did not outweigh the satisfaction that she would feel in making her lover suffer.
Which begs the question- do we hurt those that we love more passionately because we know exactly what to do to hurt them? Or is it simply that we do not want to hurt alone? And if so, is our passionate dislike for them based on selfish reasons? How dare they disrespect you when all you did was care for them? Or were you simply a fool?
Whatever it is, just make sure to love smartly and hate with caution.
And if you can’t be smart or cautious, be careful.
Passion, whether it be love or hate, is fire. And fire burns.