Articles From the February 1995 Unification News


When Your Heart Chills Out, Part 3

What do we do when we find ourselves "caring less and less about more and more"? The cause is stuffing so much of our anger, fear, guilt and pain under the rug that now the piles have pinned us into a corner. We can no longer find the desire to give or even feel much joy. To get free, our rejected feelings must be uncovered and neutralized. The answer lies in loving the enemy.

Bringing Cain to natural surrender

We know how self-righteous rejection and judgment only aggravates "Cain's" reluctance to change and submit to a higher example. In fact, such rejection exacerbates his tendency to rebel and even attack "Abel." On the other hand, we have seen how a genuinely loving Abel can bring Cain to a natural surrender. This love means real acceptance of Cain based on looking beyond his problems and appreciating his innate potential for goodness and his identity as a divine child. We treat him with respect despite his accusations and acknowledge a germ of truth in his accusation of neglect or mistreatment when it is valid.

We let him air his pain. We empathize with it and share in it with him. (Father often has spoken of the historical Abel failing to say to Cain, "You worked hard, you are my elder, you must feel bad to be rejected; I'm sorry that I have been favored over you. Let me intercede for you before God.") We repent to him for whatever part we may have played in his abuse. Thus the complaint in his heart about lack of love is silenced. He no longer harbors destructive feelings against us. He is effectively defused and disarmed; indeed he becomes an ally. Father has demonstrated this repeatedly.

Subduing inner Cain

The same principle holds for the Cain nature within. When our troublesome emotions meet with judgment and rejection, we stuff them under wraps and condemn them when they surface. They only go underground and worsen, like a malignant infection.

In the case of anger, for example, it only gets more and more raging and violent in intent, becoming ever more frightening to us when we sense it. This redoubles our efforts to suppress it and keep the monster under lock and key. However, such suppression serves only to further enrage the beast within, and the vicious cycle continues until we may be spending more energy containing and numbing our anger than doing anything else.

When we use the love-your-enemy approach, however, the outcome is different. Here we seek to reclaim this part of ourselves and let it become an ally. This involves several steps.

First, we recognize this Cain nature to be essentially our God-given character that has become twisted. We own this part of ourselves as "brother," not alien "other." In other words, we stop rejecting these troublesome feelings and putting them outside of our love.

Second, we accept this part of ourselves as having a legitimate grievance that needs to be listened to. In an atmosphere of safety and support, we allow the rejected feelings to express themselves without judgment or censure. We let the thoughts surface, the words be spoken, the emotions vent. We sit with the pain and grieve until the process is completed. We then offer it all to God and welcome His healing love.

What we are doing in essence is having the Abel part of ourselves embrace the Cain part. Or we may describe it as our inner True Parent giving unconditional love to the inner rebellious child. As any wise parent knows, we have to be so unchanging in love and secure in our convictions that we can let the child go through her temper tantrum without being caught up in it one way or another. We neither compromise nor criticize but only wait for the storm to pass and trust in our child's innate process of growth. Once the child feels our acceptance, she is open to guidance and reform.

In the same way, acceptance of even our ugliest feelings paves the way for them to be transformed into supportive ones. We'll talk more about this in the fourth and final part of this series.

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