At a time of such pluralism, division and hate, how does one ‘love their enemies,’ during this rough political climate?
All the great ones throughout history have encouraged us to love one another – even our enemies.
Gandhi said “It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”
When we post-presidential election Americans, find ourselves marinating in mistrust and hatred toward one another, it may be time for us all to consider the wisdom of learning to “love our enemies.”
Resentments and unfettered anger, will attach you to what you most dislike, and lock you into an infinite loop of struggle. My practice, as a shamanic medium, necessitates that I view life from a non-ordinary perspective. By opening my intuitive gifts and leaning into the infinite resources available from benevolent Spirit, this practice allows me to discover the higher view on personal and global events.
Everyone has the capacity to do this. In light of recent events, my advisors from Spirit, declare that we are being invited to shift from creating a (political)world reflecting the duality of our ego, into one that reflects a holistic consciousness, resonate with love. This is not the love of romance but the unconditional positive regard for all life.
That love exists within us all, as the primary essence or Divine Spark of our soul. The benefits of stretching into the seemingly impossible task of accessing love for one’s enemies, includes a lasting freedom from the toxicity of blaming others for our emotional and circumstantial states. That release opens our hearts and minds to courageous awareness of a fundamental connection to the Universe and all life within it. If that were not enough motivation: learning to shift from the resentment into love, evolves one’s soul.
So how do we get there? Spirit has revealed 10 suggestions for shifting from hatred into loving one’s perceived enemy.
1. Remember that you are an infinite spiritual being having a temporary human experience. Open to the idea that you are a Spirit living in a physical experience, designed to serve a higher purpose. Begin to recognize that your eternal soul is moving through individualized physical embodiment(s) to evolve through human consciousness. That’s no small thing and neither are you. Everything you experience serves a purpose of helping you to remember your spiritual nature and to see life from this perspective. From this point of view, your enemy is a spirit living in a physical form too. And they are playing a part in the drama of your life by triggering and mirroring issues that your soul has come to learn, heal and transcend.
2. Become the “Compassionate Witness” of your thoughts and feelings. When intense sensations occur, breathe deeply and learn to witness your thoughts and feelings, rather than judge what shows up. Scan your body, allowing, noticing and tending to whatever sensations arise without labeling. Practice observing with compassion and curiosity. As intensity builds, allow it to move through you into liberation. Thus, shifting from unconscious reaction, into intentional acceptance of this experience and moment. You are no longer the victim of these sensations; you are becoming their witness and conscious caregiver. Now you are free to experience epiphanies, insights and understanding.
3. Discover empathy. Once you cultivate the compassionate witnessing of self; apply this skill toward the person triggering the sensations of anger or hatred within you. Imagine that you are floating above it all, as a being of light. Look down at the perceived enemy. As a compassionate witness, imagine floating down into the other person’s body, as though you were becoming that individual and seeing life through their eyes. How do they feel? How did they become this way? What experiences impacted and influenced them to be how they are now? Without judgment, explore through their eyes; how do they feel about the current situation? Stretch into this empathic exercise without evaluating or filtering what comes up. Most beings are motivated by a basic goodness combined with unconscious drivers that influence their choices.
4. Lean into understanding. Once you see the world through the eyes of your perceived enemy, allow your empathy to stretch into understanding. Imagining their perspective, see if you can comprehend their choices.
5. Accept what is. We may want things to be different but we must come to terms with what is. Acceptance recognizes what has happened, within a context of understanding and non-resistance. It does not mean we condone; rather, we are no longer bargaining for a different reality. Through acceptance we can move forward.
6. Practice soul reconciliation. Imagine you are a being of light. Imagine light streaming into your body, through your crown, pouring into your heart. Sense it filling every cell of your being until you are glowing. Then imagine the other person as a being of light, standing in front of you. Begin radiating the light pouring through you, from your heart, into their heart, until they are glowing with light. Fill them with so much light, that it begins to radiate back to you. Feel the currents of universal light flowing back and forth, without resistance between you. Add the ancient practice of Hawaiian reconciliation by reciting silently from your heart to theirs: “For anything I or my ancestors have ever done to add to or cause this suffering in you: I am sorry; please forgive me; I love you; thank you”. Remember you are doing this soul to soul, not personality to personality.
7. Discover meaning. Life is conspiring to evolve your soul. Everything you encounter has a higher purpose, even when your mind cannot possibly perceive it. Consider Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. If you were her, walking along the yellow brick road, the witch and flying monkeys would terrify you. But once you become the spectator of the story, you recognize that each one is playing a part. In this case, they came solely to awaken her to the innate power she was unable to see without their contrast in her storyline. As you rise into the observer of your life, consider how your perceived enemy might be serving a higher purpose for you. What lesson is your soul yearning to learn through this encounter? How does learning this experience help you grow and experience more empowerment, health, joy or love?
8. Open to forgiveness. To consciously release bitterness and the need for compensation or vengeance, frees you. This is the hardest part for the ego to do, because it thrives on separation. Forgiveness is a deep state of compassionate willingness to retrieve meaning from what is and releasing yourself from the judgments that bound you before. When the first seven steps are practiced, forgiveness may arise in its own time, organically.
9. Move in the direction of love. You’ve taken the journey from intense emotional reactions and judgment to forgiveness. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged us to then move toward love. Take a deep breath and fill your heart with love. What are the qualities within this individual that you can value? Focus on anything that comes to mind and radiate your appreciation toward them. Float above them and see them through divine, loving eyes. What is lovable about them? Appreciate your ability to notice whatever it might be and take your time.
10. Practice loving connections. What would love do next? Perhaps the most loving choice might mean releasing the person from your life; setting strong boundaries or moving forward in reconciliation. Love in action comes from an open-hearted empathic understanding, that includes self-care and reverence for all others. Consider reaching out in kindness or appreciation if appropriate. Celebrate your willingness to transcend hate. If you cannot find your way to fully embracing the other person, practice random acts of loving kindness in honor of your healing journey. When you embrace love, you rise above the ego’s illusions that prevent goodness, beauty and healing to manifest. You defeat the systems designed to keep us small, frightened and disempowered. Love heals all creatively and returns you to the truth of your nature and the unifying force that is eternal, uplifting and inclusive of all that is.
There are no political divides or “us and them” in Spirit. There is only a unified state of loving consciousness seeking to be expressed through your human experience. Learning to love your enemies is the directive that grows the soul. Divine Spirit says, “this practice will empower, heal and free you to create a reality of joyful flow that serves the highest good for you and all life. Loving your enemies is what you were born to do.”
Lori Lipten, M.A. is a renowned Shamanic Medium, Spiritual Teacher, Retreat Faciliator and International Best Selling Author, Founder and CEO of Sacred Balance Academy.
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