Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Enemies

A few nights ago my friend Kristine wrote this. She is becoming a successful artist and has been learning the lessons that increasing good fortune brings and it has not been easy. One key thing she has discovered is that not everyone wants good things to happen to you. This can really be a shocker if the person who is not supportive is someone you love, someone who you thought loved you, someone who actually may love you as much as they can.

It's just a hard fact of life that not everyone wants you to succeed.

I have enemies too. Some of them are so-called "beloved enemies"--people I really love who just can't get excited about the good things I experience because they are so miserable with themselves, miserable with their own lives. It's not personal to me; these folks can't get excited about anyone's happiness. Others are the garden-variety enemies--people who do not like me and who are glad when bad things happen to me, people who think I'm a terrible person and "deserve to get my due" and such. I suppose they really truly qualify as an enemy when they are quite active in trying to have a personal hand in delivering my supposed karma to me. I one of those that I know of--I really hope that's it though.

In the past I think I would try to get everyone to like me no matter what. I would try to prove my character and convince others to get to know who I really was deep inside. Now, I just accept it. I've been through family estrangements, lawsuits, and adversarial divorces, and I know that it's just not possible to control what other people think of you.

I can only think of one person I feel this way about--someone who I would call an enemy--and it's because it's someone who has done so many things to so many people, especially children, that I honestly feel as though it would be justice if something terrible were to befall them, especially if it would stop them from hurting others in the future. When I start to feel this way though, I try to shift my thinking into an acceptance of whatever future God/The Universe has for them, mainly because I don't want to have any kind of hatred, resentment, or bitterness growing inside of me.

From time to time I am a little slow in shifting my thinking...sometimes quite slow...I admit to having dreams of "good triumphing over evil" (as I frame it in my head with my will being the good of course and their will being the evil). When I catch myself doing this, I counter such Justice-According-to-Me fantasies with prayers of blessings sent to them, healing energy, etc. Sometimes. At other times I entertain myself with my stories.

Another area in which I am imperfect.

I read that studies have been done which demonstrate that if you aggressively pray for your enemies on a consistent and lengthy basis, your negative feelings towards them will eventually go away altogether. I would like to say I've tried this, but I never have--just token efforts here and there. Of course, the Bible says this as well, but I don't know any Bible believers who have a regular practice of praying for their enemies, do you? It's not a fun practice and is about as popular today as the practice of fasting.

In fact, I know a "Christian" mother who taught her children that God had enough people doing good for others; she wanted her family to work together to help God deliver His punishments to others. He needs human hands to help out with both, she reasoned, and she had a strong affinity for the latter. So she taught her children this! This is wrong and creepy on so many levels it just boggles the mind.

People can get so mixed up.

I want to loosely quote the Queen of Arts and say that the answer to every question, the answer to every problem is the same--LOVE. Big, big love. Love for everything. Love for our friends, love for our enemies. Love!

So today, I'm going to give a shout out to those who call me their enemy--I send you love! To my estranged family members--I send you love! To my own personal enemy--I send you love! To the very sad lady with her "Punishment for God" practice--I send you love! To the people who just will NOT be happy for Kristine as she blossoms and blesses the world with her art--I send you love!


Love is the answer. Always.

What do you think about this? Do you have enemies?

~Photo by Me of some art I did inspired by the Queen of Arts called "Big Love Is Good Love"

20 comments:

~Karen C.L. Anderson~ said...

I feel EXACTLY the same way...

I don't think I have any specific enemies, but I do have estranged family members and I know that there are miserable people out there...and yes I send them my love too!

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

i do believe in shifting the energy because i went through something that made me feel so bad and i prayed for that person's wellbeing and everytime it came in my head i will again focus and send only good thoughts in its direction and suddenly one day i realize i had no more that person in my head and heart. i do realized later that by doing that i let go and grew out that. i heal myself most important and hopefully that person is in a better position today too
bless your heart Olivia!

patti said...

Sending your enemies love immunizes you against them. Choosing good energy gives you power over powerlessness. And yes, it takes repeated efforts from the heart, but can be done. I'd prefer to live with feelings of love than that icky feeling enemies generate.

kate i said...

Yes, I believe this too Oliva...Love really is the answer and it begins with loving ourselves. Those that are filled with anger towards others are those most in need of knowing self love. This is often the hardest thing to do...its so much easier to project it all outwards.

I also like to think of the people around me as mirrors for me...what I see as coming "from" them is actually a reflection of something within me. The Dog Whisperer says that if we want to know how we're feeling/doing, just look at our dog! That makes me laugh whenever I start complaining about Molly's behaviour!! This works both ways too...when we're surrounded by loving people we know they're mirroring back, the love that we are.

Great thoughts and observations Olivia!

Kim Mailhot said...

I do pray for my "enemies". Not to say that I don't get angry, express hurt, ask a lot of "why" questions and feel sad and mad about a lot of things in this hard worlds of relationships - I do ! But after a bit of venting, I have to go to the place of forgiving, the place of Love. It just feels like that is what fills me up and keeps me as whole as I can be.
The people who hurt us, intentionally or unintentionally, probably need love more than anyone else. Yes, it is hard, at first to send it to them. But you can also start looking for genuine ways to love them, like wishing them a good night sleep so they won't be so bitchy tomorrow, or wishing them a softening of the heart that will benefit them as well as you and all those they deal with. Putting Love around it is what I know heals it for me, so I am learning to do that as soon as I can...after a little venting and complaining to a good friend first ! ;-)
Thank you for your love and links to me, Sweet Olivia. It touches me greatly to know that you are inspired by my everyday work. Love and light to you !

Olivia said...

Karen CL,

I am so glad to hear that someone feels just like I do. Sometimes I feel a bit bad that I have estranged family members; I know though that the best thing for me is what I'm doing though, and I wouldn't change it for anything. Every so often (maybe 5-7 years or so) I get the idea to try to reconnect (because people do change) but each time I get the confirmation that it was too soon.

Sending love is the absolute best thing to do, always,
Blessings and love,
xoO

Olivia said...

Carmen, It's fantastic that you did that. It's good to know from someone I know that it can be done.

I apologize if I offended you about the "Bible believer" comment, but sometimes I judge Christians harshly because as a group my experiences have been of them as hateful people. However, I do have good friends who are Christians and lovely, loving people, so I have to remind myself not to be prejudiced and not to make assumptions. A bad habit I was to let go of. I especially harshly judge Christian fundamentalists, but again, I do know and love someone who believes this way and is kind and mature as well.

Anyway, Carmen, that's fantastic, and I will do this with my "enemy".

Peace and love, xoO

Olivia said...

Patti,

What a wonderful way of looking at it, and I agree--you become powerful instead of powerless and "victimized"--an ugly energy that I definitely don't want. And I love how you describe it: "repeated efforts from the heart". What beautiful and accurate language. Thank you, Patti,
Joy and love, xoO

Olivia said...

kate,

What an important point! Those who are the angriest are projecting the lack of self-love outward. My therapist says too that where there is the most anger there is the most pain. Similar/same.

Now, spiritually I think it is much harder to see others as a mirror. That we have to HAVE it in order to SEE it. That is something definitely to ponder. I'm wondering that if it were, in fact, crude evil (like Hitler, say), would we just see extreme pain? What do you think? I can see it easier in situations with anger and mental illness and dysfunctional relatives, etc.

Thanks, kate, and I appreciate your provocative observations as well...this is a great discussion. I can always count on hearing so much WISDOM in the comments, part of what I LOVE about blogging,

Warmth and love, xoO

Olivia said...

Kim,

Yes, I think that the processing of the emotions is normal and even necessary.

I also believe in energetically embracing them and sending healing thoughts and energies their way. Martha Beck in her new book (which is WONDERFUL) writes about simply observing and noticing the emotion being expressed/projected (while you yourself are in a grounded spiritual place) and that this alone can help us to not react to whatever is happening at the time.

I am so inspired by your work, Kim. I am touched by each blog post and by your lovely creations...

Big Love and More, xoO

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

Olivia
i smiled with your reply, i am not a "Christian"
i used words like pray sometimes because after all a pray is symbolic way for me to say i wish the best or ask for help to a higher something
is that what make you think i am a christian
one thing for sure i am very spiritual i aspire for angel wings ;-)

Olivia said...

Carmen, Yes I did think you were a Christian...just because you said that you prayed...but you're right Carmen...it's so easy to make assumptions about people based on little knowledge.

Well, I'm glad that you have a good sense of humor :)

And perhaps this was there for someone else to read as well who I may have offended. I really do need to work on my prejudice towards fundamentalist Christians. And I will!

Thanks for checking back, Carmen :) xoO

laundrygirl said...

I agree with Patti. It's like they say about harboring bitterness - it eats away at you, not the person who hurt you. I try to pray for my enemies at times. I am always attempting to have compassion because in the act of seeing things differently it softens my heart and keeps bitterness from taking over. This isn't to say I have it all figured out - I just try to do the best I can...

CrystalChick said...

I can't imagine why everyone who knows you doesn't adore you. I'd be so happy to have more people like you around. :)

'Love is the answer. Always.'
I agree! Ah, but do I come from that beautiful place in all my dealings with people each day? No, sadly, I don't. Work in progress though!
While I can't say I have any specific enemies right now, I did have some issues with a few people in hubby's family for awhile and it was very hard to me to always hold them in loving thought during the difficult times. I didn't ever wish them harm but I wasted alot of time feeling hurt and angry. When I really think about one of those people, I know that he is the way he is because of things that have nothing to do with me. Relations with them now are decent again. We still don't see each other that often but that is probably a blessing. The last few times we were together it was nice though!

Great post, Olivia. Very thought provoking. I know that I can do better in how I take things people say, in how I respond to assorted situations and how much love I give every day. Infact, I'm reminded right now of someone I have to email that I was feeling a bit snarky about. I'll just let that go and send love instead.
Thanks! xo

Angie D in Ohio said...

Sending lots of love your way. And I saw the amazing photo you posted of your snow. How beautiful it is.

I really don't have any enemies in my life, but I suppose calling my manager a dick might qualify. I've thought about writing his name on a piece of paper and sticking it in a cup of water and sticking the cup of water in the freezer. I've heard that usually works in getting that person out of your life.... but I suppose I could try sending him love... (okay sort of joking about the name in ice, but I am curious if it really works).

I do have a morning practice of sending love thoughts out to about 20 people each morning. It's a great way to start my morning and I know it really works.

love ya...
EB

kikipotamus said...

I am sometimes successful in praying for those I am tempted to hate, and sometimes not. When in came to my step-father, whom I've disowned, I was able to pray for him repeatedly until my hatred dissipated. When it comes to the manager who was the root of my (almost) nervous breakdown, I have managed to feel grateful to her for being the catalyst for a career change, but I have not yet managed to bring myself to pray for her. I do, however, know in my heart that she is full of self-hatred and fear, and so I can feel compassion for her.

I also used to want everyone to like me. I'm over that, but I must admit it would rattle me to think someone actively wished me ill. K

Olivia said...

I'm glad Kristine, and I appreciate it. I guess I could have offended you as well...but you indeed are then a Christian who prays for her enemies. I wonder why people don't talk about this more?

Anyway, I'm really going to think more before I write. I think that's the thing about prejudice--if you have it you're not aware of it. I've known for some time that I have a negative attitude to Christians as a group, but just forget about it and consider my Christian friends "exceptions". It's still prejudice and something I want to deal with.

Love to you, xoO

Olivia said...

Oh, Mary, you are so sweet :)

I think that sometimes it is easier to be cordial and not interact with someone if you know that the result will only be conflict. Or even if you'll just feel badly.

I have a family member that I love who is very hurtful. She posts things that hurt me deeply on FB. I just decided to relate to her in real life instead and not look at her FB page. She only is nasty behind people's backs and never to their face. So I can hold loving thoughts of her if I just disconnect from the negativity and am not being pummeled by it each time I get on my computer.

I guess what I'm saying is that I just keep my levels of interaction with people at the point to which I can best continue to think positively of them. Of course, that isn't always possible, since we don't really control how much interaction we have with people sometimes, but to whatever degree I can I do.

Thanks, Mary. I'm really liking this discussion too.

xoO

Olivia said...

HI, EB! I never heard of that "cup in the freezer" thing--it's interesting, that's for sure. I like your morning practice. Love you too :) xoO

Olivia said...

Kelly, yes, there are different levels of response with different people. I was thinking about "disowned". I think that this would be where the estrangement becomes permanent and the person ceases to exist for someone. I think that this is what my brother and sister have done to me, as well as pass this down to their children. I think it is sometimes necessary (1) because the disowned person is too toxic to stay in relationship with or (2) because the person who is doing the disowning cannot handle who the disowned person is. I think that disowning may allow people to continue functioning in their daily lives.

I know that I feel very sad about my siblings, especially what has been passed on to the next generation, but I appreciate that they have felt it is necessary.

I think that it is great that you have been able to pray for your stepfather and to have no negative charge when thinking of him. I hope that my siblings are able to do the same with regards to me.

I do think that forgiveness and healing is a process, and your relationship with the manager is still pretty recent. It's good that you feel compassion. I appreciate your authenticity in that you will pray for her if and when you are ready.

It is SO freaky when someone wishes you ill. It has rattled me, that's for sure. I am always surprised, too. In order to really be aggressive against someone, the hurt and anger has to be so profound. You also have to risk massive social disapproval too, because I don't know of anyone who really supports such actions.

Oh, my, much to think about! Thanks, Kelly, xoO