“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
-Lewis B. Smedes
Like most people, I am sure you have often struggled with the question of “How to love your enemy“? I bet that just thinking about “loving” your enemy makes your stomach go sour, your blood boil and body cringe. I am sure you can think of a lot of other things you’d like to do to your enemy other than “love” them right? Naturally, how can you “love” your enemy when your heart is overflowing with anger, resentment and hostility?
People often say, “keep your enemies close“, or “kill ‘em with kindness“. Those words are so easy to say, but what do those words really mean and how can you truly apply those words to your life without being fake, vengeful, or condescending?
The first step is to take a genuine look at your enemy. Who is that person/persons who offends you so much? Stuffing your heart full of resentment and hate? And why?
Could it be because they are not acting or doing as YOU would like them to? Or because they don‘t agree with YOU? Or maybe they aren’t giving YOU the attention YOU require?
Why have YOU chosen to hold this person hostage to your beliefs? It’s a free country isn‘t it? Don’t we all have the right to think and feel as we wish?
Try and remove youself from the scenario for a moment and think about how “your enemy” feels as you lock him/her up, forcing him/her into your little judgmental box. I bet your enemy has that “bad attitude” because they are fighting against your need to control and imprison them?
Why must you be so concerned and focused on how they choose to live their life anyway? Their lives have nothing to do with you, you are not required to agree with them, nor are they required to agree with you. “Agree to disagree right”?
Maybe it’s time to just set them free, just throw away that key. Unlock your own self-defeating perspective by being more “care-less” as Dr. Stein of Zone healing says. Once you take this little leap, you will quickly realize “the enemy” this whole time was you. This battle was happening within you. There is so much freedom in that, isn’t there?
Then you can be free to focus your energy on enriching the positive things in your life like your family, yourself, or being grateful for all you have. Hey, what do you have to lose? Bitterness, frustration, anger? What do you have to gain? Yourself.