Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Loving Our Internal Enemies
(Frozen Lake Erie's edge...still and silent waves.)
As I have mentioned just recently, I am reading some Anthony DeMello at bedtime. I'm reading it in tiny little chunks to soothe my mind and heart before I lay down.
A few nights ago, I came across a section about freedom.
DeMello clarifies that it is human to have emotional responses like anger and frustration and fear, and that if you didn't feel those things, he would doubt you were a human at all. This clarification always seems necessary to me. For example, in studying Buddhism, I have heard so many people mistakenly identify a lot of Buddhist concepts with having no feelings at all -- you know, the sighing, won't-speak-above-a-whisper types. Being around them, brings out all my loud and grumpy parts.
From there, DeMello makes his real point. He asks what would happen to our lives if we were to let go of negative thought/feeling patterns like regret, bitterness, shame.
This felt like a powerful question to me.
What sort of freedom would this lead to?
On a post the other day, in response to some comments, all of this gelled and I suddenly heard Christ's "Love your enemy" in a whole new way.
Sure, he is most definitely talking about other humans, but it hit me that he is talking about all our internal enemies -- or at least, those parts of ourselves that we see as "bad" or "wrong" or "not good enough."
I am now trying to pay attention to the most persistent, the worst internal enemies that I have in my head. They often have to do with shame.
What would happen to me if I just loved them and thus let them go? What would happen to you?