Today we ask that you hold compassion for the people who challenge you most.

Maybe this is someone in your life whom you feel deeply wronged by.  Maybe it is a parent, or an ex-lover or spouse.  Maybe it is a family member.  Maybe it is a former partner or boss.  

It is someone who arouses a feeling of hatred in you.

It does not have to be someone you know personally.  It can be a politician.  It can be some symbolic individual who represents a collective “enemy” to what you hold dear.  Someone who threatens you.  

Whoever it is, we would ask you to sit with this person, in your mind.  Allow yourself to feel all the negative feelings.  The hatred, the anger.  Even the violence.

Now: imagine this person as a little child.  Just imagine what this person you hate looked like as a little child.  And once you have that image clearly in mind, sit with it.  Sit with the little child version of this being you hate.  Sit with the little child — playing with toys, or sleeping in a crib, or crying.

Notice what happens to your feelings.

Do you still want to attack that little child?  Do you want to scream at it?  Do you want to strike it?

Or do you feel a spark of compassion.  This little child is no threat to you.  This little child might even be hurt, or confused.  You might want to help it in some way.

Sit with this feeling, whatever it is.

It is a very simple, but powerful exercise — one you can do anytime you notice a feeling of hatred toward an “enemy.”  Every “enemy” was once a little child.