This I Believe

Deborah - Round Rock, Texas
Entered on September 5, 2006

I believe in learning how to fall, fail, lose, hurt and still love your enemy. I believe that loving my enemy is the only way to find peace in myself.

Within the past three years I have experienced the fall from the “middle class.” Born to entrepaneur parents solidly essconced in the middle class, I grew up with the privledges and the reality of security in money: Bills were paid, yearly vacations were taken, doctors’ visits were made, education was a necessity instead of a luxury, the savings account was a reality instead of a dream, and food was never in short supply.

After a few life defining changes, (namely a divorce and starting a new business with my life partner) I suddenly did not have the security of middle-classdom. And something amazing happened to my reality when scarciity was the recipe for the day: obstacles to money become enemies in my mind.

The car in front of me, the dificult client, the government , the meter man—anything at all began to seem like an impediment to survival. I have never been an angry person. But, when I am coasting on two dollars worth of gas, hoping I will get to work to help pay the bills that are already late–any impediment can become a mini crisis. The car in front of me can easily seem like an enemy.

I must state at this time that my temporary lack of money is nothing in comparison to the lack felt in the majority of the world. I know I am privledged and blessed beyond belief. Yet, I have learned that the fall from anything can create the illusion of being under attack–whether the attack is real or not. When can I much less the world agree on the real enemy?

And this is where love comes in. When I see enemies, real or imaginary,– I try to draw on love. I do not practice “love” only because I have read somewhere that it helps. I have discovered that it is the only way out of my state of fear. I try to turn that fear to love. And in most cases the only way to love my enemy is to try to understand my enemy. I believe when I choose to understand my enemy, instead of fear my enemy, my fear turns to compassion and love is not far behind.

The road to loving my enemies is not often immediate. It takes research, patience, and faith. Yet, when I achieve success I feel as if

I am fufilling my purpose in life. “Having something” never fufilled that purpose. But believing in something (my enemy) and seeing it come true (from enemy to friend) is life changing.