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“Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
We all have rivals. People who laugh at our misery and pain and take pride in our downfall.
Enemies develop either due to differences in opinion—divergence in thoughts and ideologies, or sometimes even for no reason at all.
Regardless of how a person turned into your foe, instead of embracing the paradigm of taking an eye for an eye, consider the following and see why instead of setting our enemies aside, we should appreciate both them and the bricks of criticism they throw at us.
Beyond taking our enemies into consideration in a positive way, we ought to also foster love for them.
Think about this for a minute: don’t you agree with me when I say that when we hate our enemies, we give them not only power over ourselves but power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness?
Our enemies would dance with joy, their chests swelling with pride, if only they knew how they were worrying us, slashing us, and getting even with us. Often, the hate we try to send them does not affect them in the slightest, but our hate does unintentionally turn our own days and nights into a hellish turmoil.
One sure way to forgive and forget our enemies is to become absorbed in any cause infinitely bigger than ourselves and the events that have disturbed us. Then the insults and the enmities we encounter won’t matter because we will be oblivious of everything but our cause.
Here’s why we really ought to treasure our enemies:
1. It’s the best lesson on anger management.
Your enemies know your level of anger management better than anybody.
While it might be true that your enemies have a way of bringing out the worst in you with regard to anger, there is no denying that they can also help you in your quest to have that anger managed.
Anger management is more effective when it comes to practical application rather than just reading tips to control it.
Your enemies are like the temporary therapists you need from time to time, but not all the time. In as much as you might want to hate them, they provide you an opportunity to control the intensity of anger that you have.
2. Their criticism can help you make a breakthrough.
It is true that our enemies never really have much good to say about us. In order to self-assess, every time you hear something mean or nasty from an enemy, breathe, take a step back, and evaluate yourself.
There is a good chance that what he or she is saying is true. After all, it wouldn’t bother you so much if you knew there was no truth to their judgment.
Improving your weaknesses will help you become a better person overall. This is another testament to the fact that enemies can help us in our own personality development.
3. It’s an opportunity for healthy competition.
You might not know it, but your enemies make for great rivals, as they unknowingly nurture the competitor in you.
Sometimes, you might not even realize or be aware of this until you come across an adversary. You get the right motivation to compete, and this can go a long way to motivate you to victory.
However, while doing so, it is also essential that you remember not to work against your discipline and good values. Working against an adversary is really tricky, so you need to ensure that you don’t inflict harm on yourself in the process. Healthy competition is a valuable lesson to absorb from our adversaries.
4. You learn to appreciate positivity.
When you are surrounded by thorns all the time, you start to recall the once blooming roses. A constant reminder of the fact that there are enemies will also help you not to take those who appreciate and support you for granted.
Affection and detestation are two opposing emotions, and it is possible for one to momentarily overshadow the other. However, while you’ll always have enemies, there will also always be people who are going to help you grow no matter what you may be going through.
We need to appreciate our enemies for what they do for us. Never let the bricks hurled at you destroy your ability to learn from these connections.
Often, when we are criticized it is because it gives the opponent a feeling of accomplishment and self-esteem. It often means that we are achieving something another wishes to achieve. Many people get a sense of savage satisfaction by denouncing those who are better educated than they, for example, or more successful.
Instead of waiting for our enemies to criticize us or our success, let’s beat them to it. Let’s be our own most severe critic. Let’s find a remedy to all our weaknesses before our enemies get a chance to point their fingers at us.
And understand that if you have failed more than others, there is a good chance you are living life in a more complete and fulfilling manner than others. Those who take more chances and dare to be and do more than others will naturally experience more downfalls. But, that doesn’t mean you kick off the handle, get suppressed by the noise, and cease to try. No, that’s not the way.
Do more, perform better, take more chances, strive harder and prove to those waiting to see you fail that no matter how turbulent the storm is, you will always sail your boat on the highest tide and reach the shore safely.
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