June 13, 2019

I think we’d all like to believe that we don’t have enemies. Enemy seems like such a hateful, unforgiving, and harsh word. However, when enemy is described as: “A thing that harms or weakens something else”, I find it more relatable.  Have you ever had someone harm or weaken you with his or her actions or words?  You may not use the word enemy to describe this person but what they did to you or how they made you feel caused harm to you and/or weakened a part of your being or your life.

I don’t want to think of anyone as an “enemy,” but I have been hurt, harmed, weakened by people around me who wanted to bring me down I’ve spent hours, days, sleepless nights wondering why they didn’t like me, why they wanted to harm me, wondering what I had done, and replaying scenario after scenario.  I felt animosity towards them, tension would rise in my shoulders or neck every time I was in their presence, I’d find myself saying negative things about them to anyone who will listen.  It wasn’t long before I was negative about most things, including myself.

We are told to be strong and stand up to our enemies, but I believe weakness is when fight our enemies and we allow bitterness, un-forgiveness and hate to enter our lives. It harms and weakens our own lives.  We become our own enemy.

“Holding anger is like a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”- Mitch Albom 

When you pray for and extend love to those who you dislike or those who dislike you, it is liberating.  You break a cycle, you put down your weapon and invite freedom and happiness in your heart.

Yet it is hard to pray for and to love our enemies.  Maybe just start by not retaliating.  Turn away for a time.  Treat them with goodwill.  Let go of the fact they may never like you, you have no control over them.  Then open your heart and allow God to teach you to see them how he sees them.  That when love happens.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Julie Robinson, Executive Director Studio 222 After School Program