Making friends with the enemy within us could be a frightening thought. It is difficult enough to even admit that there is some aspect of ourselves that continues to work against our best efforts. We might be working hard to get good grades and yet something stops us from meeting our objectives. I want to lose weight but I keep eating the wrong foods. I want to get along better with my wife or significant other and yet I do things to make them uncomfortable. What is going on here? Life should be simpler than this!
Often we don't grow up learning that we frequently may feel too opposing ways about the same thing. I need to go to work, but, maybe I don't want to get out of bed today. If we are to accept responsibility as a mature adult of course we need to get up and go to work. We also need to do our job the best we can with all of our focus and concentration. We may also need rest and something within us knows that we need to care for our bodies. What happens with the part of ourselves that we ignored or didn't acknowledge this particular morning when we decided to be responsible and go to work? It is it still there inside of us and is it taking any action that might interfere with our concentration or performance at our job or in our studies this day.
For century's men and women of wisdom have understood that we are consistently in conflict with ourselves and if we are to be effective and adaptive we need to learn to deal with these conflicting forces and energies. Freud talked about conflicts and believed that they were at the core of much neurotic suffering. Neuro Linguistic Programming is a system that incorporates the use of hypnosis and focuses on resolving conflicts within the individual. Some ancient Buddhist practices of meditation also focus on resolving internal conflicts as does much of modern day psychotherapy and counseling.
In our culture we learn that we need to fight against our enemies and the focus often tends to be on overpowering the other which is problematic to us. What if at times it is more important to develop a sense of understanding what for what the opposing force or enemy needs? This may not always work and at times we definitely need to protect ourselves form predators. Is it possible, however, that much of the time we can resolve conflict both on the outside and on the inside of ourselves with understanding and compassion?