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Learning from my enemies–reposted


I am not sure that I would say that I have any genuine “enemies” but being human, I am aware more than I like to admit that there are a few individuals and a few types of people for whom I have a negative inner reaction–even if I have learned to withhold any outward expression.  And I do have my days when my displeasure or irritation or even anger is seen!

The question is posed:–what can I learn from my enemies? What can I learn from those I dislike? What not to do? How not to live? What about how to live and love? Richard Rohr’s newsletter came through today and he asked some of those nagging mosquito-type questions. He suggests, “In the spiritual life your enemies are your best friends.” Why? Rohr says they are helpful to help us face our dark side. Since I re-read recently The Dark Side of the Leadership as well as did a skim over on the Enneagram, I thought I needed to pay attention to his words. Rohr says,

People who turn you off, people you’re afraid of, have a message for you. We reject and hate our own faults in others. I’m not saying you have to go out and become best friends with them, but you should put up your antennae: They’re triggering something within you. You need them.

I had heard that it is best to keep your enemies close to you so you know what they are doing. Maybe God wants to turn that around so that as my enemies are close to me, I can see what is going on inside of me!

After posting this, I realized that I needed to apply this.  What do my “enemies” teach me about myself

  • Beware of pride and arrogance
  • Don’t talk too much, listen more
  • Don’t always have my nose in a book
  • Why do I withhold a compliment from others?
  • Don’t be afraid of self-awareness and self-disclosure to others
  • Live healthy, set boundaries, enjoy life more
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