“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Billie: “I just hate everyone. I hate them all.”

“Hate is a really strong word. And a powerful one. It’s the kind of word that can really blacken your heart. Are you sure that’s the word you want to use?”

Billie: “Ugh. Fine. Will it blacken my heart if I spell it? I H-A-T-E them.”

“Yea, dude. Still means the same thing.”

Billie: “Then why does this word even exist if you cant use it?”

“Well, it exists because it’s real. “Hate’ indicates a super strong dislike for something that really consumes you. And people can and do use it. And, when they use it against other living things it has the potential to destroy. Hate is what some people used to justify enslaving others. Hate is what makes people walk into schools and shoot up playgrounds. Hate is a very dark thing that can cripple your heart if you let it.”

Billie: “Is my heart broken now because I said ‘hate?’ Did I just break my own heart? Can I fix it??”

“Oh, for sure. The heart is incredibly resilient. And love and patience and understanding can totally drive it out and fix it.”

Billie: “I feel bad that I said ‘hate.’ I feel bad that I felt it.”

“You felt a human emotion, just like everyone else. And the best piece of advice I ever got was to try and judge yourself on your second thought. Your first thought is a reflex- it can be what society trained you to believe or what your darkest thoughts want you to believe. But it’s your second thought that determines who you are. If you think, ‘I hate them’ but then you follow it up with, ‘Ahg! No! Hate is bad. But I really dislike them and I gotta find a way to fix this and make it better’ then I daresay you’re on the right path. You’re doing good work. Just keep working.”

Billie: “So I’m not crazy?”

“You’re one of the most brilliant people I know. Crazy is relative.”

Billie: “I’m going to just take that as a ‘No, Billie. You’re not crazy. You’re awesome.'”

“You should definitely do that.”

I call this exchange: “Channeling My Inner Dumbledore.”

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

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