Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you… – Matthew 5.43-44
This question is confronting: Who is responsible for creating your enemies and experiences of “persecution?”
Get still and quiet. Meditate. Feel the feelings. Observe the thoughts. Witness the sensations of the body.
Can you see that it is your thoughts and emotions that persecute you? Especially thoughts and emotions about others. What would it be like to not believe or think those thoughts? Who would you be without those feelings?
Can you see how much we co-create our enemies, and our experiences and events of “persecution?”
At the spiritual-psychological level, isn’t it more true to say that the self makes another into our persecutor and our enemy? Isn’t it more honest to say that we almost always participate in making our enemies by reacting to them as an enemy?
What if nothing was a threat? If you have given your self away, what is there that is left to react or oppose? If your life is already hidden with God in Christ (Colossians 3.3), can anyone or anything really be your enemy or persecutor? Isn’t every cross we consent to another way to forgiveness and release into the new possibilities awaiting through divine love?
All conflict requires reactivity. And unconscious reactivity, driven by negative, low-level consciousness, emotions or thoughts, always results in dysfunction. Non-reactivity grounded in the truth of our essential being, as well as the energy of love, slowly and quietly flourishes all things – including us.
The remedy is always love – in part because love has no real opposite except fear. Love reduces and replaces our negative thoughts and emotions that often keep us locked in fearful, angry reaction to what we perceive as a threat. This shift usually takes time to process physiologically, but the shift can also occur quite quickly, once we see the pattern and process at work within.
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