Destroy Your Enemies. (Make Them Your Friends)By:
Abraham Lincoln said that the most effective way of destroying enemies was to make them friends. Sounds so wonderful and wise, doesn’t it? But what about in actual practice? Honestly, for most of us, it feels ludicrous to our ego mind.
Hating another person and being rage-filled is like drinking poison and assuming the other person will be poisoned. We might think it is some form of empowerment, but it’s poisoned power. Our minds are our most sacred space, and when filled with rancor and hatred this powerfully creative space becomes toxic. When we find that we are angry and resentful toward coworkers, family, or neighbors, it might be worth our while to explore how to de-escalate our anger and clean up our mind before it gets the best of us.
It is said that what your enemy thinks of you is really none of your business, but what you think of them, is! Can you let your antagonist become your teacher? Not in the classical, inspirational sense, but rather, perhaps, in a down-in-the-trenches kind of way. Think about it - these people who really upset us either control us (if we fail to master our emotions - they become our puppeteer) or help set us free (if we learn to master our emotions - they give us legs). Paradoxically, it takes going right into the heart of our warring mind to be able to cultivate true peace of mind. The only way out is through.
Anger is a form of fire/agni, and how we use that fire becomes vital to our ultimate freedom and enlightenment (or to our damnation/suffering). The same sun that melts the wax hardens clay. Rather than playing victim to life’s challenges, in these situations we can use the tension (tapas) of humanity to lift ourselves (and others) up.
But how on earth does one do this, you inquire? Here’s a self-guided visualization that’s perfect to clean up a messy state of mind. (It’s worked beautifully for me for decades.)
Self-Guided Visualization Technique to Heal Hatred, Anger and Rage
In a meditative mind, begin to visualize a safe, cozy room surrounded by an orb of golden, healing light. In the room are two comfortable chairs facing each other. See the person you are having trouble with walk into the room just as they normally are. Then, they stop, and split into two beings. One is the nasty person that you really don’t like, and the other is their pure, unadulterated spirit-being. The nasty person leaves the room, and the spirit-being sits down.
Walk into the room and sit down across from them, and begin to gaze into their eyes. Take a moment to deeply connect to their divine nature. Feel their goodness as if this were someone you had never met before, but somehow loved deeply. This is their true nature, before life’s complexities set in and caused damage and separation.
At some point you or they will ask a question and begin a conversation. Perhaps you simply ask: Why are you so difficult and impossible to get along with? Ask this from a very pure space in your heart, like you might ask a child that you adore. And let this intuitive conversation take as long as it takes, until you are absolutely clear on the purity of their spirit, as well as the connection you two have in that spirit energy. Once you feel at peace, connected, and neither of you has any more questions for the other, acknowledge closure between you.
Get up and return to the place where you started the visualization. Look into the room/orb and see this spirit being gaze at you with great love and gratitude (for seeing their goodness beyond their wounded self). Then, you both accept that the other being will now enter (you need to be ready for that). As the other walks in, you stand witness as they gently merge back into one being. Now, look into the eyes of this person and connect to that spirit being you just spent time with. Hold both their Divine and darker natures in your heart. This is compassion. Then, watch as this person walks out of the room.
To create the healthiest mind-space, do this visualization often, whenever you need to regain control of your emotions and return to your true power. May love guide you always, and may the longtime sun shine upon you.
Will Donnelly is a nationally recognized, certified yoga teacher and writer, and is the author of “Practical Yoga’s Wisdom for Everyday People: Essays & Inspiration for Life" (2017), a compilation of his most popular online essays now available at amazon.com. Will has been a pioneer in the field of yoga, developing Practical Yoga, and co-creating a yoga–reality series for fitTV (Discovery Communications, 2004). As a writer and teacher, Will encourages all students to trust their impulses and find their true voice. Will currently lives in Hawaii, where he leads weekly yoga and writing classes at Kalani retreat center. He also leads several popular Practical Yoga adventure and healing retreats throughout the year. Information on retreats, his book, DVDs and other inspiration to be found at WillsPracticalYoga.com