From my experience, the more we love our enemies, the greater the love we can feel for others. And the more love we feel for others, the more blissful life becomes.
The following advice may not be for everybody but has worked wonders for me. It has opened work opportunities, enhanced my relationships, and made me a team player.
With that said, here are lessons I’ve learned about loving our enemies:
During crises, giving love can ease stress.
As an example, a best friend, little to my knowledge, had sabotaged all my career opportunities while serving as my job reference. This occurred over a decade’s time. When I discovered this, I chose to still love her but stopped communicating with her. By making this choice, I feel love rather than resentment, when thoughts of her arise.
As another example, I read a news story about a woman who had forgiven a criminal who brutally murdered her son. By offering forgiveness rather than vehemence and vengeance, this woman surely healed more peacefully.
I’ve also learned that it’s soothing to give into other’s unreasonable requests, if doing so does not cause any harm.
For instance, at a corporate dinner, a fellow colleague wanted to switch seats with me, long after we had settled in our seats. My seat was in the corner and great for conversation. I refused to switch seats, which angered her. In hindsight, I wish I had switched seats with her, if only to show her I’d walk the extra mile.
I’ve also learned that people can surprise us.
We can’t change people who hurt us, nor should we expect them to change. But people may surprise us and change, should they reach that level of awareness.
To illustrate, my own life has gone through surprising changes. I used to blame others for negative events. Now, I stop myself from blaming. I choose, instead, to focus on how I might grow from the negativity. This growth mindset mended my relationships, improved my work dynamics, and created peace of mind.
Lastly, I’ve learned not to confront an enemy on a wrongdoing.
This strategy may not be for everyone, but it certainly works for me.
To illustrate, whenever I feel I’ve been wronged, I stop myself from confronting the wrongdoer. By not confronting, I don’t fan the flames. After all, what triggers me may not be a trigger for others. And, ultimately, over time, it feels best to simply let “perceived” wrongs go.
As a final comment, loving our enemies helps us love ourselves. After all, I believe self-love is merely the accumulation of the love we feel for others.