I have chosen to return to the topic of loving your enemies, but you will notice that my title suggests that we have to do something else before showing genuine love to someone who has wronged us. It has to start with ourselves. Do you Love yourself?
Walls coming down!
I was talking with my close friend recently over how very hard it is to show love to our enemies, during this conversation she pointed out whether we were looking at the whole situation from the wrong perspective. Do we need to begin with loving ourselves?
In my original blog titled Love your Enemies, I mentioned that I would constantly tell God in prayer that “I can’t forgive them they did this and they did that”! This was to justify my anger towards those who had wronged me. It also prevented me from having to do that very hard thing of offering love to someone who had wronged me and dealing with how this had affected me.
I have since recognised that I had created a wall to ensure nobody hurt me again. This wall was ultimately trapping and preventing the true me shining which my close friends see and not the guarded Ken who seems to be everywhere. What was covering my walls was passive aggressiveness towards those who I suspected may have gossiped about me or who I felt were capable of hurting me.
This wall has stopped me from being my real self in group settings and in relationships. This wall has really become a weapon of attack rather than a shelter from being hurt again. I am No longer going to have this wall trap me I have begun smashing this wall.
I am going to feel exposed, but through getting to know and love me more I need to now try and to allow people in, give of myself, taking a chance in relationships. Being me the real me open. There is no more wall!
I have smashed some bricks already, in a recent work situation I approached a colleague who had been gossipping about me. I offered my assistance to prepare them for the new big role they were embarking upon.
They were a little cautious over my change in approach toward them and may have suspected I had ulterior motives. This suspicion lessened and a productive open meeting occurred and lines of communication are now in place should they need my help.
I am getting into a better place slowly knowing myself. There are new beginnings and great things coming into my life, I need to change and be less defensive. My closest friend told me this.
It was the truth, true friends tell you things to help you grow, thank you!
People are going to gossip about me, maybe even about this blog. I may not gel with everyone I come into contact with in my working life, church, commute. Friends may turn on me but I am coming to recognise slowly that I am comfortable with me.
How can we become comfortable in our own company and love ourselves? do we know how to? Will we allow ourselves to be alone in the silence of our own company? That means no distractions. No social media or smartphones ringing, no box sets which we watch on demand?
Feeling comfortable going out to dinner alone, or to the cinema?. Not caring about what friends think about us. That’s where I think it begins being comfortable with YOU!! and not wanting or needing to compare yourself with others.
Once we can lay this foundation it can help in terms of then showing love to our enemies.
There are two passages from the Bible which are really relevant in thinking about loving our enemies the first is taken from the book of Leviticus, which can be found in the old testament.
” Do not take revenge on anyone or continue to hate him, but love your neighbour as you love yourself. I am the Lord your God”.
Leviticus Chapter 19 verse 18.Good News Translation (GNT).
This scripture may appear to be an instruction of “do this ” but I feel its more about how we can explore ourselves which can be and is really hard to do and its where we can find ultimately the answers and solutions to much of our challenges.
The second passage is taken from the New Testament and can be found in Matthew Chapter 22 Verse 39 New Living Translation (NLT)
” A second is equally important love your neighbour as yourself.”
Opening myself up I know will not affect how my true friends see me but I hope they and others get to notice the birth of the real Ken whose walls have been removed and who can work towards loving his enemies as he works towards loving himself.
The original Love Your Enemies and Where is the -Love? blogs are available on the Life Essence UK website and APP.