Your Enemies By Peaking Over Their Wall
Making friends and keeping them
My first year of high school, I ate my lunch in a bathroom stall.
I was so afraid of people, in particularly my peers, that I did anything and everything to escape being around them, even if it meant eating my sandwich by the toilet.
I remember listening to the girl's laughter as they brushed their hair and fixed up their makeup...and dreading one of them would question why my particular stall door had been shut for so long. I remember one time a girl tried to force the stall door open and finally gave up muttering to the others that it must be out of order. They petrified me to an extent of losing my appetite and my dignity.
I felt trapped in a world full of...PEOPLE...and like a cornered cat longed for the day when I could fortify myself away from all of them, if just to spare myself the situational pain. This dream felt hopeless the more and more I realized how much living in the world would depend on interacting with these people for the duration of my existence.
I felt paralyzed and trapped in a system I did not want. I was an alien in a land of strangers. I would smile at them in the halls but then dart my eyes down in fear.
Deep inside I
was crying from loneliness, longing desperately
just to have one friend…just one; but looking
around me all I could see was a crowd of
enemies. Making friends and keeping them
seemed like an untouchable illusion to me.
The definition of an enemy is: ‘One that is antagonistic to another; especially: one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent. Something harmful or deadly.’
All of us may have a different visualization of what a enemy would look like to us, but all of us would agree that an enemy is someone who causes us to feel threatened. There are obvious and extreme examples of an enemy.
If you are thinking on the grand scheme of war, the enemy is normally the one trying to shoot you, trying to wound you…trying to take your life.
But what if
our enemy isn’t actually trying to physically
harm us, why do we view them as such a great
threat to our well-being?
When I first began a new job several years ago, I experienced a never-ending saga of clashing drama between me and another employee. For two years we butted heads, rubbed each other wrong and basically irritated the heck out of each other.
It seemed that every time I showed weakness she would jump in when I was down and antagonize me, almost seemingly mocking me for being weak, which would then cause me to feel twice as bad. In return, this then caused me to treat her coldly and distantly in moments she would try to be warm and therefore our exhausting drama would inveritably feed each other like a never ending cycle.
I was tremendously frustrated by this and it seemed no matter what tricks I would try, nothing ever changed our horrible dynamic. As time progressed, something suddenly became clear to me that shifted my whole outlook on her personality.
I began to realize that she was a great person until I showed emotional vulnerability. I began to experiment with displaying a strong air about me when she was present, even when I felt exhausted and emotionally distraught.
I acted this out ceaselessly every single day and began to notice this gave no ammunition to feed her normal antagonistic responses. Over several months we gradually built a closeness and mutual respect.
situation blew me away and changed from night to
day. Making friends and keeping them now
seemed within my grasp.
Relationships are tricky, but by looking at them from an angle we've never used before, it can change what looked like a mountain into a simple hill, just by stepping a slightly different way.
You can “peak over their wall” just by realizing that they are human just like you. You can look at yourself, knowing your hang ups, insecurities and downfalls and then fully realize that the same pattern exists in them.
In perspective, just like studying the blue prints of how an average airplane is constructed, you can apply that same blue print to other planes as well. In looking at human beings, this can then give you understanding to their triggers as well as opening up your heart of compassion to them for their own fears and sorrow.
It all just
takes a different perspective.
Sometimes it’s not easy to lower our defenses enough to look our enemy in the eye.
Sometimes it’s actually the last thing we want to do when they’ve hurt us or defiled us.
So what can you do to change that? How can you take the power back from the pain they have caused you…how do you walk away with dignity, with self-respect without walking over them as you leave the room?
The easiest way to accomplish this is really very simple. Picture that everyone dies on the earth except for you and them. Let your mind imagine what you would need to survive this. Let your heart feel the emotion of having them as your only friend and companion.
Now picture them underneath rubble, pinned helplessly. Look at their face as they panic for safety; save them. Pull that object off of them with more strength than you have ever known. Pull them up out of the debris and cradle them, let them know they are not alone. Now picture they look in your eyes with surprise and love.
They smile at you, thanking you as they go limp in your arms and die.
We are all human beings. We are all built with the same hardware, and we are all susceptible to feeling afraid, broken and alone.
I believe these are the things that ultimately bind us. These, though viewed as weakness, actually are the things that cause us to survive, to fight and to hold someone who has deeply wounded us. It is that thick common bond that gives us hope when we are the afflictors and it is that same heart that beats inside each and every one of us for love.
The next time your “enemy” looks you in the eye, eliminate them by looking back into their eyes and fighting for them. Life will become one less wall to climb and one more hand to hold. Cherish mankind, for they are a fragile people just like you.
and keeping them is not only a wonderful reality
to walk in but it can change your very outlook
on life; and one step at a time you will look
around you and your enemies will be hard to