As I contemplate unconditional love (i.e., unconditional regard, unconditional acceptance), I look below action and perceived intention to that desire for fulfillment and wholeness. The unifying urge within us all is to live a life aligned with our deepest values and beliefs. It is on that plane of understanding that I can look at another person – whoever they are, wherever they come from, and whatever they believe – and say
There I go again.
Those who position themselves as “against me” (i.e., my enemies) want nothing more or less than I want. They are against me because I represent a barrier to their deepest desire, to their self-determination, to their fulfillment…just as I wish to remove barriers to my fulfillment. We share a common fundamental desire.
My enemy and I are the same.
As I acknowledge, understand, and accept this shared fundamental desire and the perception that “I’m in the way,” I enter an arena in which I can forgive and look beyond rhetoric. I invite the other to join me and seek a path to resolution.
This is not naively crying out, “Why can’t we all get along.” I’ve seen people resolve conflict and reconcile relationships with those who’ve said and done hurtful things, sabotaged careers, and even killed family members. As a result, they shed their bitterness, and their futures opened to life-giving possibilities.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are not only possible; they’re desirable. They engage us in actively acknowledging an elusive yet deep and soulful human reality:
My enemy and I are one.
The bottom line of every moral code is: This is how one behaves toward those with whom one belongs together. The differences depend merely on who all is included in that belonging. Brother David Steindl-Rast
Here’s a brief, yet intense, post by Brother David Steindl-Rast on Oneness, Belonging, and the Self (read now)