Appreciating Your Enemy, A New Perspective
When we hear the word "enemy", the first thing that comes to mind is something unpleasant and negative.
An enemy is a person who hates or opposes another person and tries to hurt or harm that person. Generally speaking, we do not wish good things for our enemies. But if we take revenge upon one's enemy, then it creates a never ending cycle. A cycle that can result for both side to be hurt and to suffer at the end.
So, how can you learn to appreciate someone who put harm into your well-being and your peace of mind?
According to the book, The Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama and Howard C., anger and hatred is like a fisherman's hook. It's very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by this hook. Hatred can be the greatest problem that stops someone from achieving compassion and happiness. If you learn to develop patience and tolerance towards your enemies, then everything in life becomes much easier.
"In order for someone to become successful in practicing compassion and happiness, the practice of patience and tolerance is important. Therefore, we can change the way how we see our enemy by using that opportunity to enhance the practice of patience and tolerance. In fact, the enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience. We can consider our enemy as a great teacher, for teaching us a valuable lesson."
But why should we appreciate our enemy when their intention is to hurt us and not help us in the first place?
It's never easy to appreciate our enemy. But our enemy gives us the opportunity to grow. Think of it this way, to achieve a stronger, leaner/toner physique, one must go through the strains, sweats, and struggles of lifting uncomfortably heavy weights. We appreciate good weight equipments not for any immediate pleasure but for the benefit we receive.
Imagine if we went through life never encountering an enemy or hardship. Imagine if everyone we met pampered us, never encountering problems or struggles. How can we even deal with overcoming the challenges of life? It's the very struggle of life that makes us who we are. it is our enemies that test us and provide us with the resistance necessary for growth.
My own experience..
Growing up, there have been quite a few people who came into my life to hurt me, who wished failure upon me and who wanted my life to be in misery. I was never good at dealing with such negativity at first, which put me into a lot of mental battles. But through the power of positive thinking, compassion, and mental strength practices, I overcame the things I thought were once impossible.
I learned to move forward and continued to live my life. I achieved many goals that many thought I would fail at. I have done many things in my life that I am very proud of that many didn't think I was capable of. I truly appreciate every single person who came to test my faith and my patience because without them, I wouldn't be who I am now. I am exactly where I wanted to be and more. My life is full of love and happiness that is surrounded by good souls. I have a supportive and a very kind, loving life partner who is absolutely good to me. I am in a good place and because of that, the people I once called enemies, are no longer my enemies. They were my teachers, good teachers who showed me a way to a purposeful life.
"Now there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems. So when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude," - Dalai Lama.