There is the old story of the Spanish patriot deteriorating rapidly on his deathbed.  The priest visits him and asks him the pastoral question–“do you forgive your enemies  my son?”  To which the patriot replies, “I have no enemies father.  I shot them all”.

I guess that’s one way to deal with your enemies.

I doubt that many of us, if any, have that luxury.  Chances are there are some folk in our lives who are destructive to a degree.  Perhaps “enemy” is too strong but I’ll bet there is someone that you realize isn’t a point of constructive development to you.   What do you do with them?

I can think of a few in my life.  I try to live my existence in a peaceful, adaptive way but I find myself periodically locking horns with some.  It used to really bother me.  Okay, it still does.  I visited a counsellor to talk about it.  He was really helpful.  In his assessment it was because of two things–my person, and my position.

My position is ostensibly one of “authority” and I had to realize that for some people this would be a point of conflict. Their anti-authoritarian personality required them to react against me. Period. Sometimes their destructive patterns were just them working out their issues. Hmmm.

But my person was something else. The counsellor suggested I came across sure footed and confident. Interestingly, he said people sometimes react to that kind of personality. Not only do people have issues with people in positions of authority, but people sometimes have issues with people that come across with authority as they conduct their lives. Sheesh, talk about getting it from both sides.

Anyway, his advice was to watch how I came across. Not bad advice, but not always perfect.

I’ve chosen an additional path. When I come across someone with whom I feel sandpaper, I do my best to “feed them in their area of hunger”…to “give them something to drink in their area of thirst”. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes they miss it entirely. Other times it drives them nuts when I respond in such fashion.

Me? I have a weird sense of inner satisfaction that I’ve done something really powerful. Counterintuitive, but powerful.