In our world it’s often so easy to get rid of a person we don’t like.
Perhaps she’s offended us. Perhaps he’s acted inappropriately.
Off you go! we think, and we un-friend him, we toss her away, we attempt to regain our peace and equilibrium.
But what if this person exists–in his or her perceived current despicable incarnation–to teach us something about ourselves?
What if this person reflects something to us, some part of ourselves which we can’t yet embrace?
What if this person comes as teacher of the Unspeakable, the Unclaimable, the Unmentionalable hidden beneath our mask of acceptability, of civility?
Too often we throw away our enemies prematurely. We don’t wait patiently to see what they’re reflecting of ourselves.
We don’t want to claim how we’re judgmental, angry, stupid, fearful, painful…fill in the blank…and how we can’t bear this part of ourselves and refuse to friend it.
Only when we can look at our enemy squarely in the face and see ourselves will we be free.
Only then can we leave him or her without rancor. Or choose to stay waving the flag of peace.