Monday, July 16, 2018

Loving the Enemy Within You

Catholic Psychotherapist/author, John Monbourquette, once told the story of the son of a rabbi who attended another rabbi's synagogue.

On his return, his rabbi father asked him, "What new thing did you learn there?"

The son replied, "Love your enemy."

The father exclaimed eagerly, " Nothing new. I preach the same thing!"

His son explained, "They taught me to love the enemy that lives within me, the one I am so desperately trying to fight."

In psychotherapy, loving the enemy within you is essential to be a balanced and whole person.

Acknowledging and reintegrating this internal enemy lets you recover the hidden pieces of your self that were repressed or suppressed and accumulated over the years.

Dr. Carl Jung, being familiar with Freudian psychoanalysis, speaks of this enemy as the "shadow" side of the psyche.

In his work on "The Psychology of the Unconscious," Dr. Jung describes the enemy "shadow" as the "other in us," our "dark twin," who embarrasses and shames us.

Our enemy "shadow" contains the unloved aspects of our self we repress and consign to the labyrinths of the unconscious.

To befriend and love the enemy within is to own it. See the shadow as it is. Tap its resources and integrate them as part of the whole of you.

If you don't love or befriend the enemy "shadow," it will work against you. It will make you feel fearful. It will cause serious psychological and social problems.

Unless you know your enemy "shadow," you can't really know and heal your self! It's a basic condition for all human development.

Love the enemy within you. Welcome your unloved side!