The “Enemy” Within

Recently, I have been thinking about the various relationships I have and more specifically, my thoughts have been focused on the people I identify as “enemies,” or in some way have become viewed to be “responsible” for any pain or discomfort I experience in my life. What I have begun to notice is that very often the individual who triggers feelings of discomfort, anger, pain, anguish or frustration changes – i.e. my “enemy” – changes. And yet, very often the situation around the triggered response does not. 

imgresLike many people, my parents have been perceived as the targets disturbing my inner peace, my siblings at various times have also held this honor, as have random coworkers, superiors, colleagues, and subordinates. Each time, I would become triggered into a fight or flight mode, I often thought that if only something about this other person, thing, or event would change, life would be drastically improved. Yet, as we all know, wanting other people to change is about as productive as wishing the sun would circle the moon.

In such instances, the only power we hold is in attempting to change our innate reactions to things. On that front, I have begun to ask myself questions about the various assumptions I make and how these assumptions are the basis for my auto-pilot reactions that potentially can be rewired. Such questions include: How can I develop a sense of patience, curiosity, and trust capable of imgres-1examining and rewriting these “enemy narratives” that are sparked in this instant? And How can I begin reclaim the power of my own happiness?  The latter a power I have blindly given away to unsubstantiated feelings of greed, pride, lust, envy, fear, resentment, sadness, guilt, or shame – all because I wasn’t aware of the amount of accountability of which I was capable.

The question I have for you is: Where have you given away some of your power to an enemy narrative? Perhaps this question applies to a narrative of an intimate relationship, some aspect of your professional life, a part of your body, or even a specific pose within your asana practice?

What ever it is, can you invite the possibility that as you are the common denominator in each of these situations, you are also the key to their resolution? Many sages often say, “all we seek can be found within. Self acceptance is often the key.” So how can we begin to fully trust and embody that teaching?