Do You Really Know Your Enemy?
As teenagers, young adults, old adults, and at every age in between, we have encountered at least a few obstacles that have impeded our progress. Some call it a mere nuisance, while others, when driven to the extreme, have sworn it to be an eternal enemy. No matter what story we are looking at, there always seems to be an antagonist in our great adventure – someone or something that seems to set us back, holds us from achieving our greatest desires, and prevents us from being truly happy.
Or so we thought.
In The Storm Before the Calm, Neale asks us one of the Seven Simple Questions, which is, “Is it possible that there is something that we do not understand about ourselves, about our own life and its purpose, the understanding of which would shift our reality and alter our experience for the better, forever?” There certainly is, and it is simply that we are not recognizing the humanity in our enemies as a further extension of ourselves. Just as in everything that occurs in our lives, our “enemies” give us the potential to grow in our spiritual development as well – if we choose to. If we choose to create new relationships, ones not based on hate, or loathing, or animosity, but in love, forgiveness, and growth, then we can create the New Cultural Story that our world so desperately needs. No matter who or what you consider your enemy to be, you and the opposing force you face are always for the same end goal: to obtain a higher understanding of Who You Are. Quite often, embracing the “enemy” is the next step to be taken.
Though changing our relationship with our “enemies” may seem improbable, it is indeed possible. A change of heart and a change of mind can be seen in the incredible story of Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix. A November 2012 edition of Spirit Magazine details this journey to its beginning in 1995, where Ples Felix’s teen grandson, Tony Hicks, had shot Azim Khamisa’s only son, Tariq Khamisa, dead in cold blood. Despite his mournful situation, Azim Khamisa did not look for vengeance against the Felix family, but ultimately recognized that “there were victims at both ends of the gun.” In their 1995 meeting, Azim Khamisa should have certainly saw Ples Felix as part of “the enemy,” but with the higher guidance of love and forgiveness, both men recognized the loss that each other felt as a result of the incident, and were able to form a communal bond over that experience. From this recognition of humanity in one another, Khamisa and Felix co-founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, which teaches nonviolence and individual responsibility to at-risk teens across the world. As a result, nearly 9 million teens worldwide have heard this message of forgiveness. If just these two men were able to look beyond their personal vengeances and create a new relationship entirely based on forgiveness, awareness, and unity, then what would happen if we did this with all of our “enemies”? Now that’s an Overhaul of Humanity if I’ve ever experienced one.
We as teenagers and future adults need to become responsible enough to know that there is always more behind the story. What may seem to be our greatest adversary is most likely one of our greatest stepping stones of higher awareness. By understanding our interactions with our “enemies,” we can choose to consciously shift our beliefs and attitudes so that we can create a more meaningful relationship with them, the world, and ourselves. No matter what stage of our life we are in, there will always continue to be people that challenge our choices and well-being. Will you recognize them for their choices, for their understanding, for their own journey that now is ultimately apart of your journey too? Will you grow with them on that journey, and will you become even more of who you are? As always, the choice is yours.
(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)