I used to have a nemesis. She was The Joker to my Batman. She was a woman I used to live with in London and to put it mildly she was horrible. When I moved out she screwed me out of my six hundred pound deposit. I was in between jobs per usual and this presented a problem.
I carried around rage in my heart for this woman. Every time I set foot in Notting Hill I thought about the likelihood of getting away with setting her flat on fire. Not to kill them. Just to burn all their stuff and ruin their lives.
I ran into my old flatmate at a party years later. She embraced me like a sister and asked why I didn’t keep in touch as she would love to see me!
I knew she didn’t harbour the same ill will I did, but it was unexpected to be taken into her ample bosom.
I realised then, that my hatred only adversely affected me. Consumed me.
And it was at that moment that I let that hatred go. That obsession. I had kept it so close because I knew I was right. She was the b!tch. She screwed me out of my money. But right doesn’t make it healthy to promote ill will in your heart.
There have been many times, when I’ve had to consciously make an effort to let negativity go. Even now sometimes I’ll think of situations from the past and still feel that old anger or frustration rising. I just did it a second ago which is why I’m writing this.
The Dalai Lama talks a lot about how our enemy is our greatest teacher. That our enemy (whether that be a nemesis flatmate or the douche who took your seat on the train) teaches us how to utilise patience and forgiveness.
I saw that same flatmate in Shoreditch, not so long ago. I’d let go of the anger but I didn’t speak to her. A second foray into her ample bosom was not particularly appealing.