It is possible to respect the potential for love in the soul of an enemy while firmly disallowing the enemy from causing harm.
"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." Beautiful Tessa, thank you. Nothing to add or subtract from what you say. It can be such a challenge in practice, but a challenge that can be met once there is this kind of clarity and love in one's own heart.
you don't know how timely this is, Tessa. i am facing a monster of a beast that is my child's school that has greatly betrayed us. i am so tempted to go and blow it up or otherwise create immense havoc to clear out all the deceit and lies...but i am learning that i can do this in my head, and then let go of the fight. schools are a dying institution anyway....and the real win will be walking away with dignity and pride, and forging a new path for our own sanity. thanks for your wisdom and love in the world.
"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."
That simple definition gets to the heart of the matter. I am slowly working around forgiving somebody who deeply betrayed me. It is a difficult path as I never want to see this person again, but I've realized that it is for my benefit to live and let die. There's such an overwhelming amount of this especially since Covid set people against people, ultimately at war with themselves. It's difficult to balance the passive peace of becoming a martyr with the warrior path that can too easily become one with the dark side. Ultimately it is better left in God's hands...
Brilliant. And thank you fellow traveller for this perspective so needed. May we stay rooted, centered and standing between heaven and earth with love in our hearts. In this way we can disarm without harming.
One of the things I discovered in my martial arts training is that you can't win a fight. You can engage in the fight with love to deescalate the conflict. If I escalate and win, I lose. Deeper hurt, wider division, more work to build. The best martial arts is to make friends. I like something Abraham/Hicks said is some talk, "A battle against anything is a battle against yourself."
Perfect timing for your invitation Tessa. Thoughts this morning - continued from pre-waking consciousness - focused on soul. The awareness offered? Our soul holds all the information we need; it is in fact our personal time machine holding our individual being’s experience through all time past, present and future. Everything we need to know is here.
Speaking personally, this life’s extreme challenges on constant repeat, were set in childhood through emotional abuse. A note on childhood trauma; it changes the game; innate vibrational settings are distorted. Typically childhood trauma is the creation point of strategies-as-resources to survive life, while separating one from their innate self attuned to naturally express love and to receive love.
Strategies created within a context of childhood trauma, produced early career success, while inadvertently perpetuating dynamics in which trauma was seeded again and again and again. This occurring world, as in childhood, left innate self - the one naturally able to express love and receive love freely and unequivocally - suppressed and oppressed, unable to express natural abilities and qualities.
First efforts to reconnect with natural innate self (spurred at midlife c1998 by multiple losses; death, home, relationship) created reconnection with natural self AND greater life-chaos. Setting off a multi-decade’s long wild roller coaster ride of soul expression mixed with reactive childhood emotional trauma programming. (Memoir pieces, works in progress on my substack.)
A ride and journey inciting a determined search to end the chaos. Multiple decades and dozens of modalities proclaiming to possess the keys to the kingdom of soul and easy natural expression - we could say expression of love - didn’t address childhood abuse and trauma, triggered instead strategies of survival in hyper mode.
Offering this small window into personal experience with soul to bring awareness to the fact few models of soul work - ancient or modern - address the presence of trauma, childhood or otherwise. Making any effort to be in conscious relationship with soul an endeavour in futility and quite possibly igniting greater and greater life challenge.
Connecting with soul has always been spoken of as a journey for only the most determined and committed warriors. A quality making the trip inward unattractive to most humans driven by ease, preferring leisure and distraction to feed illusion.
Thanks for asking.
Dearest Tessa, when I read your writings, so often they express the love found in the Gospel message and the teachings of Jesus. Loving your enemies in found in both Matthew 5 and Luke 6:27-28 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you."
I remind my children that it is one thing to love but how much a greater thing to feel, to understand, to know the source of that love. We truly live in a lost world, with the masses struggling to be found. How wonderful to come home to a welcoming, loving Father that loves us so much He would sacrifice His only Son for our sanctification and redemption. God's Word tells us that if we abide in Him, He abides in us, and we know this by the Spirit which he gives us. I would implore those who follow your writings to read the First Epistle of John, Five short chapters that takes little time to read and gives great understanding of the source of love. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%201&version=ESV (I will read again this morning as a reminder)
As with your writings, God speaks to us through His Word. His new covenant is supported by the factual historical writings and prophecies of the old. Man's kingdoms are destined for failure, for believers, God's Kingdom is both present and eternal. God's Word is a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path. Be in it.
revenge is a reaction to pain. it's a damn good painkiller. i speak from experience.
but it wears off.
and it's addictive.
and it backfires. the lower matrix feeds off your energy. as long as you engage with the beast, you house it and keep it alive. walk away and it starves.
it takes a lot of work to switch out of that paradigm because it's so romanticized: revenge is dark and sexy and makes you an existential hero. it's not exactly sexy, and takes infinitely more inner work, to disengage and create something better.
there's never been a better time than now to let the forces of evil destroy each other. rebuilding won't be easy but at the same time it will be glorious.
at least that's what i keep telling myself.
Thank you for sharing this, Tessa, and I think you nailed it. At the societal level, holding those who have committed crimes accountable before the law is important, if we want to live in anything that passes for "civilization," however, I firmly believe that vengeance is for the Divine, for there is a much bigger picture, too big for humans to comprehend. In various comments sections on other Substack blogs, I come across a lot of revenge fantasy comments (e.g., the outré things people want to do to Dr. F!), alas, and I think these are either by trolls, or people who simply don't know any better. I want to say, dude, go write your screenplay. But I don't get into it with them. I would assume you've read Gavin De Becker's THE GIFT OF FEAR. For me the big take-away was, to engage is to enrage.
Thank you Tessa for another thought-provoking essay.
I resonate with all you write, my way is my decision not to have enemies. Every human being as you write, is a Divine eternal soul-spirit incarnate in a flesh body, when this egoism/intellect/mind flesh-body is acting in violation of Divine laws & harmony, it creates a stress situation (disharmony) in the worlds of separation we live and I see it as a lesson that teaches me and allows my spiritual growth to accelerate. I will criticize the actions and words of people, but not the people, this is God’s job (karma). I am practicing the following doctrine:
“To hate those who love you is devilish
To love those who love you is human
To love those who hate you is Divine”
Daskalos. ( Cypriot Christian mystic )
Tessa, I walk with you. Evil people are not our worst enemies, you know where they are and how they stand as they step into the darkness and wear it like a badge of honor. It is those who sneak up from behind ready to wear one sides' colors or the other, which ever is easier that are our worst enemies. I pray for the evil ones to make a different choice and send them love and light. The evil ones will use those who fear to make a choice and sooner or later devour them in a torturous feast of everything they fear. I will walk on up the path until I reach my goal of ascension no matter how difficult, no matter how far and I will meet all those walking in the LOVE along the way. So hard and full of challenge but when you do come to a place of love it is such a blessing that you KEEP ON KEEPIN ON!
I recently concluded a divorce, the end of a 23 year marriage. Through all of it, I refused to make her my enemy, refused to treat her with anything but love.
I was amazed at how empowering that was - how right and good it felt. My intuition at the time was that disengaging with love was essential to my future success and happiness.
I’ve committed myself to alimony payments that would no doubt be lower (perhaps a lot lower) if I’d fought harder, if I had hardened my heart to the point where I could treat the person I had loved for over a quarter century as an adversary, an enemy. And I’m fine with that. Something tells me that making those payments each month lovingly, willingly, is key to my happiness as well.
If I had more time right now, perhaps I could draw the parallels that I’m sure exist between my experience here and many of the larger issues that will be consuming us in the coming years of chaos and reorientation.
All I know is that the fire of anger toward my “enemies” - a flame that once motivated and exposed me - is feeling more and more like a poison in my soul. I suspect that the kinds of solutions or immediate future will require will involve love rather than anger.
Not that I’m saying that’ll be EASY, of course :-)
Thank you Tessa for another really great article. You write with such clarity and wisdom that can only come from experience. Your work has been invaluable to me and likely many others. I really do appreciate what you do.
The true idea of love is "to know".
This applies to relationships too. You cannot truly love someone until you really know them and they know you. If you don't know them, but feel love, you're loving the image of them, not the real person.
When it comes to the predator class and their minions, we seek to know them.
Why? Because once we know them well, we can see who they really are.
There are many psychopaths who we know have a "mask of sanity" they wear to trick people.
There are also narcissistically wounded minions who just follow the leader, like child bullies who seek power to feel purpose.
And then there are relatively sane people who follow orders because they have no other choice as their careers and social status depends on it.
The true Central evil as religions talk about is the system itself that incentivizes lies, manipulation, and corruption. (The legal system, economics, politics, "science", etc)
Sadly, most normal people rather not see the system as corrupt, they either see " bad apples" or an outside force, like Satan etc, to blame for the evil.
This is not " to know" but to excuse, much like an abused person tries to give excuses to help the abuser find their good side.
True knowing is to see that the game, the system gives the environment that makes people complicit in evil deeds. It doesn't excuse their actions, but at least we can see the reality that lead many normal people to do the Holocaust or the covid mess etc...
Knowing that truth, we can see reality and stop living in fairy tales that projects evil into imaginary objects or beings.
I'm not an atheist, but I can't understand how mainstream religion does this.
It blinds them to the truth, that the game is rigged.
“Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.” - Robert Anton Wilson
"I can't make myself believe that the millions killed by plagues, cancers, natural catastrophes, etc throughout history were all singled out by some Cosmic Intelligence for punishment, while the survivors were preserved due to their virtues.
To assume that Divinity would employ earthquakes and pole shifts carelessly murdering millions of innocent children and harmless old ladies and dogs and cats in the process, is absolutely and ineluctably to state that your idea of God is of a cosmic imbecile."
-Robert Anton Wilson
Thank you for doing this work, Warrior-Sister Tessa.
this line is a tough one to swallow, but i do get it, at least intellectually < It is my observation and belief that the people seeking to conquer, to destroy, to colonize, to subdue are really expressing their love. > ... and the comments you make about self protection hang together with it.