With No Hatred Within, There Are No Enemies Outside
Our unique personalities and ways of looking at life condition the way in which we interact with others. In certain situations, we project our traits onto the people around us, attributing behaviors or thoughts which are actually ours. With this line of thought, having enemies may be more related with how we confront situations in our mind than with the circumstances which objectively happen to us.
Sometimes the worst attack we can suffer doesn’t come from the outside world, but from within, from ourselves. In certain situations, we can even feel grateful for external attacks. Because internal conditions include rage, impotence and social shame. Precisely these, which comes from our very selves, make us feel weak and insecure, propitiating a breeding ground so that we may see others as enemies.
For our emotional stability, it’s essential to know how to redirect the anger that these situations produce for us. Knowing which situations and circumstances pose a major grievance in our lives is crucial in order to identify who or what we’re confronting.
There’s no doubt that the worst attack isn’t the one that comes from the external world. It’s the one which is produced from within, causing a negative self-assessment. This ends up undermining us as people. This negative self-assessment turns us into our own worst enemy, since our emotional balance depends in great measure on our self-esteem.
“There’s victory in beating your enemy. That victory is even greater when a man beats himself.”
-José De San Martín-
Robert J. Sternberg, professor at Yale University and the ex-president of the American Association of Psychiatry, distinguishes at least two types of enemies: external and internal ones.