Step 1: Acceptance. Accept that it is not personal. Whatever error you perceive in another person is present within yourself. This means accepting responsibility for the situation, owning your true power, and letting go of the payoff of playing the role of victim. Chances are that if you had the courage and openness to somehow discover this article, then you are ready to own your power and let go of the illusion of being a victim. The ego loves saying, “Poor me,” but as a mature spirit who seeks healing, pity parties have to go. Instead of pity, practice compassionate understanding. See that the other person is as innocent as a little baby, just like you (equally innocent), and they are doing the best they can. If they knew better, they would do better. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Step 2: Send Love. Pray. Remind yourself over and over again they are intrinsically innocent. Remember that there is no evil, only ignorance. Any evil is actually just ignorance. No ‘evil’ would arise if the being was in a state of omniscience (knowing everything). Of course, because they do not consciously know everything, they commit some errors – which we might have tendency to condemn. But, as Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Have we not all done the same thing? In the 12 steps of AA, one step is to take a fearless moral inventory in which we take account of all the errors we’ve committed in our lifetimes, and sure enough we’ve essentially all committed every error. Who has not stolen something? Lied? Cheated? Who has not, at least in the form of a thought, coveted another person already in a relationship? We are guilty, and all innocent. We are just like little babies, doing the best we can given what we know. So, have compassion – for yourself and for everyone. And send so much Love! Send love to yourself and send love to your enemies until they are no longer your enemies because you see them as pure beings doing and being the best they can be.
Step 3: This overlaps with the previous steps, but essentially – to re-iterate: give up the judgments and opinions and labels and sense of right/wrong, good/bad. Give it all up! Opinions and judgments are a burden, and Jesus encourages us: “Judge not lest ye be not judged, for with the measure with which you judge you shall be judged.” He says that if we judge another as selfish, certainly we shall also be judged as selfish. And really, if we have just a little patience and a lot of courage to sincerely look within ourselves, we’ll find that any negativity, and even positivity too – any negativity or positivity that we project externally onto others is totally present within ourselves and in our own behavior, attitudes, words, etc. Just the other day, I labeled someone as a thief, and sure enough I realized that I was the thief. So, God please help us all 🙂 We can have compassion for all those caught in behavior that is not exemplary like lying, cheating, stealing, causing pain, etc. The temptations of the ego are vast, and if the temptations were really that easy to overcome and bypass, then there’d probably be a lot less conflict in the world – but who hasn’t experience the pleasurable feeling of self-righteousness that comes about when criticizing the choices of another person? Back when first transitioning to a vegetarian/vegan diet, I remember I would regularly project all kinds of judgments upon people, and thankfully I kept those judgments internal so as to not stir the pot too much, but nonetheless the ego loves judging and setting itself up on a pedestal. Be careful! Instead of judging, just have compassion. If you’re going to judge them, judge them like a little baby. Put a little baby on trial – who is going to accuse it of anything? I plead innocence! Even the terrorists…they’re just caught in ignorance and illusion, and we can pray that the darkness is lifted from their awareness and the light of love and truth shines forth. And also, we can own any darkness present in our own awareness and pray that we might grow in the light of love and truth as well. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see the world.” That is the antidote. You be the change. That doesn’t mean trying to go and change somebody else. It means, if you want more peace and love in the world, then you be that peace and love. Own it fully within yourself.
Be the change you want to see in the world. Pray for all those who have hurt you. Pray for healing of that within yourself too. There is no separation. Let go of judging and criticizing, condemning and complaining. Give up opinions. Just pray. Just love.
Hold an image of the person you are having trouble with in your mind, see them smiling and beaming light, and affirm to them:
You are unconditionally safe. You are unconditionally supported. You are unconditionally loved. You are beautiful. You are radiant. You are divine. You are eternal. You are perfect. You are filled with loving kindness. You are love itself. You are peace. You are total and complete.
The above practice is an adaptation of the Buddhist practice of metta, loving kindness.
Practicing metta and praying for our enemies requires radical humility and surrender. We have to give up our judgments and get off of our high horse and humbly pray for the well being of the other and the well being of ourselves. Remember, be the change you want to see in the world. Pray for all. Of course, in the practice of metta, it begins by sending all the well-wishes first to oneself. It all begins with us! We have to own responsibility and acknowledge the power our own transformation plays in benefiting the lives of all. Instead of just praying for the healing of your enemy, pray for your own healing, and for the healing of all. There is no separation! A prayer for one is a prayer for all.
Embrace the innocence and ignorance of all and be free from the burden of judgment. Just love and pray 🙂
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!