On Loving Your Enemy
It is possible to respect the potential for love in the soul of an enemy while firmly disallowing the enemy from causing harm.
This is a raw, impromptu story about philosophical matters that are bigger than life. I am just going to type and let it be raw. I was going to write about it a couple of months ago and then a few enemies raised their hostile heads, and the story became more nuanced.
So here is how I feel about it.
I am not a theoretician. I have not had a sheltered life. In fact, quite surprisingly for my bushy-tailed pre-immigrant self, my adult life has been crazy tough. I have been through physical violence, slander, abuse, numerous betrayals, too much toughness really, but I guess just enough to make me who I am. I have also experienced a very satisfying life full of emotional depths, pleasant honesty, and love. I've experienced loyalty, total belonging, the kind of love that is so beautiful that I don't know how people live without ever experiencing such a love.
My experience has led me to believe that this entire thing, this entire thing we do on Earth, is about love. When we are in a place of love, we are at home, we belong with ease. When we are not in a place of love, we are on our way to the place of love. Oftentimes, the road home is full of traps and thorns. Oftentimes, it goes through icy hills, through sewage lakes, and through houses of cards.
When we are in those unpleasant or synthetic places, we forget about our home, all we feel is pain. Sometimes, we don't even feel pain but journey as zombies with busy schedules and dysfunctional hearts. But we are always on the way to love. And when we meet the beauty that has been the core of us all along, we forget the ugly parts of the journey, we realize that maybe, we had to swim through those very ridiculous sewage lakes in order to get home. And love is where we belong. And we feel the love with every molecule of our body, we sing it with every breath out of our lungs, and we don’t even know how we got here but we are here.
Now, when it comes to enemies, my definition is narrow. An enemy is an entity whose goals are so at odds with your goals that they try to destroy at any cost. I have dealt with such people. They are not fun. They play dirty, they lie, they cheat, they do tricks.
Here are a few conclusions.
I believe it's important to maintain the spiritual "sweet spot" and stick to the "scope" of the job.
By that I meant that you do what you need to do to defend yourself—but without getting drunk on revenge and walking over to the dark side. I believe that in the process of ensuring your safety and well-being, you are better off if you guard your heart against succumbing to vicious thoughts.
In fact, if you pray for dignity and victory in a way that is right by the good spirits (God, the universe, however you pray), you are in a good place. If, on the other hand, you pray for harms to happen to the people trying to harm you, you may win and you may get your way but you will walk over the dark side and befriend the darkness that has just caused your own pain. And it will start eating you, nudging you to go deeper and deeper into the dark territory, and feed you all sorts of mirages to make you feel justified... and in the end, you will become just like the thing you destroyed.
So to me, all this is about my owns spiritual tasks. I have a responsibility to defend myself and to do things ensuring a good, dignified, joyous life as much as I can. I also have a responsibility to respect the spark of the spirit everywhere it exists, and it exists in their souls, too. In practical terms, I very much stand up for myself and for the people I love, and I do it with passion and without fear. But when it comes to opportunities for revenge, I don’t want to befriend that ghost. I have no room for that tricky ghost. Being in my good place is far more important to me than what journey my enemies take once they bugger off.
Why no revenge
I believe that the people who choose to walk on the dark side in this lifetime end up suffering in the end. Their soul knows what's in store for them once the glitter runs out, and they are constantly trying to hush the soul's knowledge and drown themselves in the temporary highs of boot stomping and “successful” vampiring. They are walking their own journey, they are here to teach us something, and their destination is also love—but they have chosen a very costly, laborious way to get there.
In my own life, I believe very strongly in sticking to my job. Self-defense is my job. Making the world more beautiful as much as I can is my job. Honoring love is my job. Curbing villainry on my turf is my job. Punishing villains is not my job. I don’t care about punishing them. I would be happy if they heal. If they heal, they may become my friends, and friendship is better than rivalry, as long as it’s real.
The hidden love
It is my observation and belief that the people seeking to conquer, to destroy, to colonize, to subdue are really expressing their love. They just don't know how. They are seeking connection and belonging but their hunger is way bigger than their patience, and they feel like if they don’t get a “dose” of power now, they will die. Somewhere along their journey, they have established working relations with negative energies, and so their sensory wiring is messed up, they seek to to hurt what they really want to love.
That said, self-defense comes first, and pondering the awe-inspiring mystery needs to be done with both feet on the ground. First and foremost, we need to protect our home base and disallow our enemies from hurting us, and as we do it and stand on the ground very firmly with our two feet, we pray for them to heal. Somewhere deep there, very deep, very far, they, too, are after love. And it's good to pray for them to heal.
So to me, loving enemies means respecting their status of fellow travelers (albeit very hostile fellows for the time being), and their potential for love. And it so happens that it is only possible to come close to loving your enemies (narrowly defined as the people who try to destroy you) when you are very strong, and when you are not afraid of them. In the end, it seems like everything we do is about growing stronger, more loving in a confident way, and growing our souls.
The source of strength and clarity is being in touch with your own soul. Really in touch with your soul. Seeking to understand your soul. Honoring your soul from the inside. Clinging to the call of your soul like your life depends on it. At times, it really does.
In order to deal with enemies, we need to be centered. We need to stay right there in the center, with our feet on the ground and our heart rooted confidently in love. If you are a peace maker by nature, you need to make sure you don’t travel too far into the clouds, letting go of the ground (if you do that, they may eat you). If you are a battler by nature, you need to make sure to not walk over to the dark side.
My own prayer when dealing with enemies is for their tricks to fail and for their souls to heal. I am not smart enough to know the big picture, so I hand them to the Creator to deal with in the sweetest way for me and in the kindest educational way for them. I don’t care about punishing anyone, I want this world to heal. This is my personal way. What is yours?
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