How to Love Your Enemies

How do you love someone who has done you wrong, made life hard for you, or cheated you in some way?  This is a very difficult thing to do, especially because it involves your ego and emotions.  When we are in the “Emotional Bubble” of a situation, it is hard to step outside and take a look in.  If we put into practice a few steps, it allows us to shift our attitude and perspective and see the situation and person differently:

  1. Purge: It’s healthy to initially feel the angry, sad, or hurt emotions, but once you have felt, expressed, and accepted them, it is time to move on. Repressing your feelings is just as harmful as holding onto them…so let it out in a healthy way (writing about the situation, exercising, crying, and even yelling when you are alone).
  2. Learn: Once you have purged, it’s time to move forward.  Ask yourself, “What have I learned from this?” Write it all down. When you truly learn from a situation, the same situation will rarely present itself to you again.  It’s when you don’t learn from something, that similar situations keep coming into your life.  Learn from it and move on!
  3. Forgiveness/compassion: Forgiving is the next step, and probably the hardest, because your ego is involved….but forgiving is the only way to free yourself from the bondage of the negative emotions involved when someone has hurt you. Once the first two steps have been completed, this step will not seem so daunting.  You can now approach it with less emotion and look at it more objectively.  You can see this person who has hurt you from a position of compassion, knowing that each of us are on our own journey and their actions are teaching them life lessons just as yours are.  Picture this person as a wounded child, seeking love and attention…they are hurting inside…that is why they behave the way they do. When you don’t forgive, the negativity will continue haunting you…not them!
  4. Love: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. You don’t have to love the act, but you do need to love the person.  Love cancels out all fear and hostility. When we love instead of hate, magic happens to all parties involved! Instead of judging this person over and over again, pray for him/her, send loving thoughts, feel love in your heart.

When you take the time to work through these four steps, you will be able to love your enemies…and then they won’t be your enemies any longer!

LOVE

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