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Enemies: You Gotta Love ‘Em

be-loveBy Rev. Carol

We all have enemies. Some of us want to avoid them; others like to engage them. Jesus provided very clear guidance on how to deal with them. You gotta love ‘em… and pray for them while you’re at it (Matthew 5:43-45).

Enemies show up in our lives as other people, other groups, other belief systems or as anything outside of us that we desperately want to change. These enemies seem to be entities separate from us and we allow them to hold us hostage. It’s as if our lives would be so much better if just THEY changed or if THAT changed.

Have you figured out who your enemies are now? For many of us, our enemy is our body. We look in the mirror and make disparaging remarks about some aspect of it. “If only our legs, tummy, neck, hair, weight or you-name-it were different, we would be attractive.” Some of us make enemies out of our significant other. “If only they did this or that, or didn’t do this or that, we would have the perfect relationship or be freer to be the person we want to be in the world.” Some of us have challenging people at work or intolerable neighbors. “Boy if they just disappeared from our lives, we would finally regain some sense of peace.”

Well, not really. Those enemies ‘out there’ just point us to ‘in here.’ They are mirrors to our souls revealing to us that it is time to reclaim our wholeness. The truth is if we were grounded in our spiritual identity, we could not be diminished in any way by anyone or anything, because no one can say or do anything to affect the Presence of Spirit in us.

Jesus demonstrated his wholeness over and over so that we could see what a God-centered, free and abundant life looked like. He had tons of enemies in the classic sense of the word – people who constantly challenged him, questioned him, tried to frame him, judged him, criticized him, argued with him, and yes, even wanted to kill him. And in the midst of it all, he had no need to defend himself, fight back or make anyone else change. He was solid in his Truth.

We know there is just one Presence and Power in the Universe and in our lives. We say it every Sunday in the beginning of our service. That Presence and Power is God and God is a force for Good in our lives. God lives in us and as us. When we turn our awareness to that Truth, there is truly nothing to defend about ourselves or make wrong about another. We are Peace Itself.

This is a practice – something we must awaken to and live over and over again before it is fully embedded in our lives. If you’re like me, there are times when it’s a challenge to leap to the Truth. There are times when I feel discouraged or under attack, when I feel deeply hurt by something that someone did or said about me or about a loved one. I know the Truth, but my heart has yet to fully integrate it. In those times, I love myself for my human feelings and reactivity. They are part of the human experience. I then turn to a partner in prayer who will know my Truth for me. I can also pray for my enemies as Jesus instructed us to.

I invite you to do the same. Recognize when you’ve made someone or some thing an enemy. Be honest about it – does your happiness depend on them changing? Allow yourself to see that they are just mirrors to your soul, revealing that you are not connected to your Source and your own sense of greatness. Love yourself through your feelings and the whole process of human reaction. Then as soon as you are able, turn to the Light of Being.

Here’s a prayer you may want to try out when you feel wronged or when you want to restore your sense of wholeness and relate in an authentic way to a person or situation that seemed to have wronged you.

Blessed Spirit:

Before me is one who I have made my enemy. I know that Divine Light shines in them, through them and for them. I know that if there is something that they must do for themselves, or something they must receive, Divine Light will reveal it. I also know that Divine Love enfolds them. I trust Divine Love to bring forth their innate greatness, to help them find their true Self and to reveal our oneness.

I do what can be done by me.

I release anything that blocks my peace. I welcome the Divine Light that shines in me, through me and for me, revealing what actions that are mine to take. I keep faith knowing that Divine Love enfolds me, brings forth my greatness and reveals my true Christ Self and oneness. I accept this situation or person to be for my highest good and see it as an opportunity to expand myself as Love, just as God is Love.

I am grateful. I release this prayer knowing that I am whole, complete and one with all. And so it is. Amen.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:43-45

Silent Unity

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