But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. – Matthew 5:44.
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. – Luke 6:27.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. – Luke 6:35.
Love your enemies. It sounds like a should, but it’s really medicine. It’s a prescription for finding wholeness and well being of myself, which in turn benefits those around me.
Who or what are my enemies? It’s anything in my world I don’t like. Anything I see as undesirable, bad, that shouldn’t be there. It can be an emotion, pain, discomfort, a person, an illness, war, delusion, a political party, noise, or anything else.
How do I find love for it? I have found these helpful:
I wish you love. I wish you ease. (Loving Kindness, Metta).
Holding satsang with what’s here. (You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me. What would satisfy you forever? What are you really?)
All-inclusive gratitude practice. I am grateful for…. (Anything in my life, including and especially that which I don’t at first like.)
Placing myself in the heart flame. (When it’s something in me I perceive as an enemy.)
Christ meditation. Visualizing Christ at the seven points (in my heart, above and below me, in front and back of me, either side of me.) I sometimes also do this for others, and the Earth.
Inquiry into anything – any stories, perceptions, assumptions – that I use to close down my love for myself and others. Any stories of enemies. Any stories of love not being here. Any fearful stories about love.
What’s the effect of finding love for my enemies? For me, it’s a sense of wholeness and love for myself and others. A sense of coming home, and of deep well being and nurturing.
Why does this work? If life is love already, and we are life and love, then this is a way for us to come home to ourselves.
In a very real sense, love may be the medicine we are all looking for. If we had a choice, would chose to be free of a particular situation or illness, or find deep and genuine love for it? Perhaps a healing of our relationship to ourselves and the world is the healing we really wish for. (It’s not one or the other. We can find deep love for an illness, and still go to the doctor and follow her prescriptions. We can find deep love for a person, and still not allow him to hurt others if we can help it.)
Finding deep and genuine love for what’s here may even open up for our natural fearless wisdom and intelligence, allowing us to act with more kindness and clarity in the world.