Dear Hater, I love you. It’s one week after Valentine’s Day and the air in my loft is still swollen with the scent of lilies. For seven days the blossoms have opened up a little bit more sharing God’s perfect perfume. This bouquet is both a metaphor and a reminder of my highest goals in love, to be a little more willing and open each day, to be witness to my self and others the grace and glory of God’s beauty. I guess that’s why flowers are the universal symbol of romantic love. While the flowers and other rituals on Valentine’s Day are at their best sweet reflections on love, the nasty, negative, manipulative, pain-filled messages I’ve received from you over the years, my most devoted hater, have taught me the most and made me the most grateful for love. When I received the first email from you when you impersonated me so that you could have a reason to reply to me, I was equally freaked out and impressed with the lengths you were willing to go to try and destroy my relationship and discredit me. Industrious as you were, your hacking handy work was sloppy, not only did you write my name incorrectly you used a word that doesn’t exist, a cardinal sin for a writer. However, I was alarmed that you gained access to my email (note to self, never make your daughters name your password). I also realized that only someone desperate and imbalanced would go to such measures, so I sought both the counsel of an attorney and a therapist. The therapist was most helpful; she analyzed your writings and gave sage advice. She noted all the transference, the deep seeded resentment, the fear, the pain and emotional instability. She told me that you were committed to hating on me so that you would not have to look at your own disappointments, your feelings of abandonment, lack of acknowledgment, appreciation and lack of love. I am thankful for her counsel because I could proceed with our relationship with compassion not counter-attack. It is a relationship you know, you are my greatest “reverse fan.” You have found every blog about me and added your toxic comments. You have sent me text messages and emails at pivotal moments in my life, speaking engagements, birthdays and your pice de rsistance, the grimy text you sent as my father Bill was dying. Though your intention has always been to punish, demean and hurt me, you have taught me and others so much. You perhaps have been one of my greatest teachers when it comes to love and I truly thank God for you. You see, every time I get a greasy message from you I immediately take inventory of all the good I have in my life. First I make contact with the highest loving almighty spirit that I chose to call God and thank him for the lesson you are presenting me. Then I reflect on the loving supportive family I have. The amazing mother, the father that was always there for me, two incredibly talented beautiful sisters and the dopest daughter ever. You have sent exploding defaming emails to people in my industry and like a fertilizer, my career only continues to blossom. You make me so very grateful for the long and strong professional relationships I have. Your torture reminds me there are many young Black women in pain that I can better serve. Your most vicious attacks have been around my personal and romantic relationships and you have blessed us. Because of you, not just on Valentine’s Day do I acknowledge the sweet love and support I receive from the good Black men in my life. The relationship with the father of my child is tight, he is a great parent and friend, past romantics are now brothers and I though I thought I’d never find love again, now after 40 I’m in, and like the lilies he gave me, our love is opening up and growing a little sweeter each day. And it’s not only me you have helped dear hater, I have had dynamic conversation about my “reverse fan” on Facebook. Others have shared similar experiences and solutions, we have all learned from each other. I’ve received enormous support and concern from my friends both on Facebook and in real life, some going hard in my defense in response to your comments on blogs, it touches me, really. I have the most wonderful healthy successful women in my life and you help me to remember that. I and others have actively prayed for you, girl, you got a prayer circle going on Facebook and twitter behind that comment about my dying dad. Your hate has been such a gift and I’ve told you that, yet I don’t think I’ve ever told you I loved you. Now I have not been perfect in this relationship, there are times I have held deep resentment in my heart towards you and character assassinated you in my mind, and wanted to simply kick your butt, but hating the hater only hurts me. We’ve all heard the slogan “hurt people hurt people” but sometimes hurt people teach people. Your pain has taught me patience. Your negativity has taught me tolerance. Your envy has taught me humility. Your obsession has shown me freedom. So I thank you for choosing me. My prayer for you is that you now choose you. I hope you actively seek recovery and plant the seeds of emotional health and stability. Lord knows therapy has helped me heal the issues neither intellect nor prayer could. But mostly, I hope that you find love, the love of self as found through the love of God however you understand Him and once that is discovered, the flowers for you will come. In love and gratitude, MAD Read more: