Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Love Your Enemies

We have been talking about Creating Wholeness in Relationships and using the book “I of the Storm” by Gary Simmons which uses the analogy of a hurricane. Even if we have never experienced an actual hurricane we have seen clips and photos of the damage they cause.

As a child we used to go camping on the coast of North Carolina during Easter break. And sometime that coincided with hurricane season. We had this fabulously designed tent that could be withstand phenomenal wind and rain. It was bright red and white canvas and often after a storm we would unzip the zipper and step out into the calm aftermath and as we look all around the campsite, see that ours was the only tent standing. Although we had a lot of faith in that tent, I remember as a child I would often be scared - maybe terrified is a better word - while the winds were whipping around us.

The hurricane of course is a physical image relating to storms, but we also experience storms in our minds, hearts and bodies. In our relationships, our workplace, our families.

And we can relate to the feelings: things feel out of control or scary. We are being swept around by a situation or person. The feeling of helplessness or hopelessness.

Last week we had a few images of hurricanes as seen from space and what we saw was that at the center of every hurricane is what is called the ‘eye’. The place where there is no wind, no storm. If you happen to be in the ‘eye’ as it passes over, you would see blue sky, sunshine, perfect calm.

This is where we want to live our lives. Where we are calm, at peace and connected to God. Only when we are here, can we be a presence of peace and love. Only when we are here can we be a force for healing.

The purpose of being in the eye of the storm is not to make the storm go away. Storms are not going to disappear. Being in the eye of the storm is holding a space for the power of love to do its work.

When we are in the center of the storm we know that there is nothing against us but every situation and person is here for us.

Sometimes it feels like there is something against us - ever in a hurry and it seems like EVERY light turns red just as we get to the intersection? Or if we have experienced disease or divorce or being fired.

Our enemy is our belief that there is something against us.

We know we are viewing an enemy when:
we feel the need to control
we have the need to be right
we need to make to other person wrong
we are avoiding or resisting

Given that I would say most of us have at least one ‘enemy’. One person we are avoiding, one situation we want to control. So what do we do with this ‘enemy’. How do we move forward - how do we proceed? How do we not get caught up in the storm?

In Matthew 5 we find an answer……….

1st step: Look into the mirror (person/situation) and love. When a situation arises that looks as though it is against you, be willing to see it as an agent of good.

2nd step: Bless the situation or person. To bless means to endow a person or situation with the capacity to be a source of good in your life. When we bless something, we dismantle the belief that anything can come between our good and us.

3rd step: Do the right thing, instead of needing to be right. How can I be the avenue for God’s Love right now? How can I demonstrate wholeness?

4th step: Pray. Pray does not mean “God, get this out of my life”. Prayer allows us to shift our attention to our center. When we pray, we lift ourselves and the situation into the peace and serenity of God.

Now here is where we put this formula to the test. I would like you all to bring to mind one person or situation that feels like an ‘enemy”. Anything you want to control over, you want to avoid, you are resisting or we feel the need to be right. And we are going to practice this four step formula.

Meditation: Let’s take this formula: Love, Bless, Do Right and Pray - as we go into prayer. Breathe into your heart and as you do, feel the love within you begin to expand. With each breath, feelings of love and appreciation grow and radiate until your heart is filled with the healing power of love. Continue to breathe into the heart and let the love fill your body as we use this Four Step Formula.

Love Your Enemies: Are you willing to begin this journey? That is the first step - willingness - to accept and embrace this situation or person. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to embrace this person or situation? Am I willing to see this differently? Am I wiling to use this challenge for MY healing?” If the answer is yes, then silently say yes.

Bless those that curse you:
Breathe into your heart. This is a journey of the heart and the heart understands this wisdom. So stay focused in the loving energy of your heart. Ask you heart how this can be a blessing. How can I see that this is FOR me, not against me? Am I wiling to see this as a blessing instead of a curse? What is this mirroring for me that I need to see in order to transform myself and my world? Breathe into your heart. Let’s move forward to step three.

Do Good Those Who Hate You:
This makes perfect sense to your heart, since the heart knows that no one and nothing is against you. How can I make the difference? What authentic action can I take that will change this situation, that will bring about healing, what is the loving thing to do? How can I be in harmony with the universe and be an expression of God? Am I wiling to be the instrument for change? To be the one who makes a difference? When the answer is yes, we are ready to go forward.

Pray for those who persecute you:
Keep the person or situation in your heart now and breathe that loving energy into them. In your heart is all the strength you need to heal this and change an enemy into a friend. Let’s enter the Silence together as we continue breathing into the heart and feel love and appreciation filling us. SILENCE. Feel the freedom and lightness within you as you change your world. You have the power to turn any enemy into a blessing through the Presence of Spirit.