When we are locked in what often feels like a life-or-death somatic experience of conflict, it is easy to fall into the belief that there is no common ground between oneself and one’s enemy. We are on the side of good and they are on the side of evil. We could not be further from them in position, values, or moral standing.
Yet when we are able to actually slow down and examine conflict more deeply, we often discover an internal tension that mirrors the conflict occurring in the external, interpersonal realm. We project our own shadow, our unwanted parts on our enemies, and they do the same to us. While can result in polarization, when held with grace, it can also give way to generative unfoldings.
We revile those whom we fear to see in the mirror. But what happens when we can withdraw our projections and see our “enemies” for who they truly are, in all their complexity?