Our Own Enemy

by Friends of Godwin


A very important way of being our own enemy is this habit we all have of giving ourselves minuses in different situations. To put it in another way, we have this inclination to see only the negative aspect of ourselves. Related to that is that we imagine that others are giving us minuses as well. In this way we are like our own enemy, creating a lot of suffering for ourselves and others. One of the meditation masters, Thich Naht Hanh, put it very well; he said we always look for what is wrong in us, never for what is right. It is with the help of awareness and loving-kindness that we can work with this very strong destructive aspect in ourselves.

Meditation on loving-kindness can also help us to learn to see the positive in ourselves. For that we need to consciously bring up and reflect on our own goodness and the positive qualities we have. When we see the positives we develop self-respect, whereby we see more and more of our own goodness and the kind things that we do. I think it is very important to develop self-esteem or self-confidence, because with the self-destructive aspect in us we lose this ability to appreciate ourselves.