It is perhaps one of the greatest challenges. How do we find it within ourselves to love our enemies? Why would we even want to?

These days, I can think of nobody I know who I can see as my enemy. That wasn’t always true. Many years ago I had a boss who was in complete control of his emotions. Calm, cool and collected is the phrase that described him perfectly. His desk was always totally bare except for the file he was working on. Nothing seemed to shake him; neither would he be shaken from his firm attitudes on how things should be done. I hated him.

I hated him for not giving me the latitude to make some of the changes I saw were needed for the organization to move ahead. I hated him for his complacency and reactionary ways. I hated him for his insufferably organized and tidy system. It drove me crazy.

And I envied him for all those things, and especially for the respect he engendered in everyone around him. Gradually, I discovered three things.

I learned that he commanded respect because the qualities that I despised were exactly the ones that the people around him (me apart) wanted. I learned that he was a kind, generous, loving man with an enormous sense of duty and commitment. I learned that my real feeling had been that of envy – and that my envy was born of fear that I could never command the kind of respect that he had. When I began to understand that, I began to be easier on myself, began, even, to love myself.

Finally, I came to love my boss, who became one of my best friends and supporters as I tentatively rose to the challenges he gave me.

The world will no doubt be a better place when, instead of labeling others as enemies and coming from a place of hate, we turn to ourselves with understanding. Each of us struggles with the same feelings, hopes and fears that ultimately can draw us together in our humanness.

In Peace and Love


Author's Bio: 

Warren Redman trained in the UK as a psychotherapist, facilitator and coach and has developed his own unique style of Emotional Fitness Coaching. He is president of the Emotional Fitness Institute (formally the Centre for Inner Balancing), writing about, teaching and coaching people in Emotional Fitness. He is the author of fifteen books, including the Award-winning The 9 steps to Emotional Fitness, Achieving Personal Success and Recipes for Inner Peace.

Find our more or subscribe to Equilibrium, a free e-zine, at