Love Yourself, by Loving Your Enemy
It’s pretty hard. Loving your enemy sounds like something only capable of by saints and prophets.
And why should we love our enemy?
If someone is your enemy they probably deserve to be unloved!
Someone I was once close to did some pretty vial things, even threatened to kill me. Another woman with very bad intentions has been trying to undermine one of my relationships for years. The wounded part of me (psychologists call it your little girl or little boy) feels attacked and betrayed.
I didn’t deserve this. I’ve been nothing but a good person to these people.
My little girl says, “What did I do wrong? They’re so mean!”
If I choose to, I could very, very easily hate these two people. I could gather any number of friends and tell them detailed stories about the things they’ve done to me and get validating gasps of “What a bitch!”
I’ve actually done this, and at the time it feels great. I feel heard and my ego is fed.
But later, I still feel bad.
The feelings of anger and hurt don’t go away just because I told my friend the horrible things someone did to me.
Why the hurt doesn’t go away…
When we identify with what an attacker is saying to us or about us, we give it truth and meaning. We actually validate the very thing that brings us pain. We make it true to us. We turn it into a battlefield with the enemy on one side and us on the other side.
Our heart is closed and our pain is being fed by focusing on the so-called “enemy”.
So, when I tell my friends over and over: “Can you believe what she said about me behind my back?! After all I’ve done for her!” – that’s feeding the pain. That’s making what the woman said about me real. If I make her the enemy I give her power and more importantly, I give the pain power.
Instead, I can deflate the pain.
How do I deflate pain?
I have to love the “enemy”, the person who I feel is bringing up my pain.
This can be done in what The Course In Miracles calls a “holy instant”, like bing! I now love my enemy!
Or for us mere mortals it can be also done through a process.
First, we must recognize if we want to feel peace, we must not have any enemies.
That means there is no one on this earth we hate. We must know that no one on this earth is out to get us because we are safe. There are, however, people on this earth we choose not to spend time with because we don’t feel good in their presence. There are also people on this earth we may wish to never see again. But they’re still not our enemy.
Enemy implies war – and war does not bring peace. So, imagine yourself as Switzerland.
Secondly, we must recognize what this person is doing is simply bringing up old pain (like we talked about last week).
When that woman said awful things about me behind my back, she brought up ancient feelings of when I felt unprotected as a little girl.
As long as I’m aware that this is my old pain, I’m not giving her or that old feeling any power.
Lastly, we must own our crap. Instead of me telling my friends what a witch this person is, I tell my friends how I’m feeling about her actions.
It might go like this: “This woman said I’m not doing enough for her kids, and that made me feel not good enough, unappreciated and invalidated. Plus, since this was said behind my back, I feel unprotected. Betrayed.”
See how that goes? I owned my feelings. I kept my power.
The ultimate final step would be to open our hearts and love the other person. Maybe we don’t love that person ourselves, but we can send love to that person.
Love yourself, by loving your enemy.
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