transforming enemy images

We are drained. Are you, too?

Can we lean into it? If you are someone benefiting from white privilege, can you see how your black brothers and sisters cannot rest? Can you use that to keep going? For peace?

If you have trouble empathizing with others, can you examine your enemy images? Whom do you think of or look at and think, “That’s the enemy”?

Can you believe that the person or people you think of as the enemy are actually just people, like you?

You might think, “They are nothing like me!”

In reality, all people are beings trying to get their needs met.

The ways that we act are often very poor reflections of our needs and may deny the existence of other people’s needs. So we can all practice expressing our needs and hearing each other’s needs.

Nonviolent change is difficult or impossible if we view anyone as an enemy. We can’t change amid threats or perceived threats.

Practice thinking about your enemy images and then imagining that person or people trying to get their human needs met—needs that you probably share: to feel safe, to enjoy time with loved ones, to love, to know joy.

How can that be? Isn’t my enemy pure evil, a bad person?

Whom you think of as your enemy can just as easily think of you as their enemy. Are you bad? Are you evil? Well, if they think you are, why are you right and they wrong?

Is it because you are you? Do you have a “me” bias?

We are all people. None bad. None good. We are all people trying to get our needs met.

If you ever put down your enemy images and humanize the party with which you are not in harmony, you will sense, feel, know their humanness. The same as you own humanness.

If you put down your enemy images, you are ready to see every person as a person trying to get their needs met.

Once you are at this stage, you will be better able to express your needs and hear other’s needs and want to meet them all

There will be more steps in making nonviolent change. We will try to help. We are just a person expressing our needs and trying to hear yours. You are invited to express your needs in your journal, to a loved one, to those you want to engage in change with, and in the comments below, as well

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