Life brings us enemies.
Enemies long-remembered and very present enemies.
Enemies at school.
Enemies at the school gate.
Enemies at work.
Former friends who have become enemies.
Enemies in our road.
Political enemies, religious enemies.
Enemies we cannot admit are enemies, but we still quite want them to fail. In other words, enemies.
All in all, grievance has organised quite a gathering.
Though as the fridge magnet suggests, the enemy who uses the choicest language and most unrelenting spite against us is often ourselves.
Ahh! The names we call ourselves when overcome with regret, shame, fear, frustration or despair!
‘Idiot!’ ‘‘Fool!’ ‘Failure!’ ‘Sinner!’ ‘Stupid!’ ‘Fraud!’ (Feel free to add your particular favourite form of self-abuse.)
So, maybe, when in enemy territory, let us start by befriending ourselves.
We ease away from the negative voices in our head, each an appalling lie…and come home to a wonderful friend.
And if that feels too difficult to attempt, too ridiculous or too self-indulgent –
– then you’re quite unwell and all the more reason to step into your goodness today.
If self-loathing were a train, it would be a train on the way to nowhere.