Loving Your Enemy

I always feel like saying someone is your enemy, is extremely harsh language….  I do, however, feel like I have a pretty serious almost enemy (see I can’t even call her an enemy, although I often think of her as a communist or terrorist) in my biggest boss at work.  She makes my, and others, life hell.  We are always walking on egg shells because her mood changes even more quickly than that of my memory care residents.  She can praise you for something one moment, and then the next day or a week later you are being asked to stop by your supervisor because she won’t tell anyone anything.  She makes everyone do her dirty work which is very unfair to the managers, but it is what it is….  Either way, the list of grievances for this woman, not just towards me, could easily fill a small composition book.  This week almost pushed my supervisor and myself to our breaking points.  She was causing such tension between the two of us, and more importantly she was chewing out my boss and under cutting my efforts to fix the situation, which caused confusion, and the next day panic ensued.  I have almost quit my job 100 times this week (which started on Tuesday for me….), but I am too level headed for such a rash thing.  I have to find a way to deal with this.

The biggest problem with a situation like this is that I do everything this woman asks.  I mean everything. I tutor her kids, help her with her computer and her school work, I made an entire presentation for our staff meeting today (which made her look super good, and she forgot her laptop and I had to find one last minute…  Thank you Julie), I move furniture, help her with reports, and the list goes on.  Part of my helping her comes from an honest place.  I am a fixer, you have a problem and I want to help to you fix it.  It is ingrained in my being to help people, to be a servant.  This has always served me well, until now.  The other part comes from this need for approval and being liked.  I think that part of me feels like helping her will make her like me and chill out.  I mean good job performance and going above and beyond the “call of duty” warrants not only job protection, but some liking….  The thing is, it doesn’t matter what I do she will always pretend to like me, tell how much she needs me (in the moment), and then undoubtedly, shortly after, she will take credit for it, talk bad about me to the department heads, or (as she has tried in the past) attempt to get me fired.  This always leaves me stunned, pissed, frustrated, and alone in the office with Diane.  Poor unfortunate Diane.  We both just unload in our office, and it’s not good.  Yes, you should have an outlet for such things, however, it is not helping the work environment.  We are just adding to the frustrated environment that we work in.

My solution?

I love to learn to love her.  I don’t know how in the world I am going to manage this….  As a matter of fact the song Loathing from Wicked, just came on my grooveshark….  “Pure unadulterated loathing, for your face, your voice, your clothing……. loathing you my whole life through.”  As much as I would like to adopt that, I can’t.  I can’t continue to poison my office with the disgust I feel for this woman.  I have to over come this.  I don’t even know what that would look like at this moment.  But no longer can I let her break me day after day.  The only way to beat this, to keep my spirit intact and not want to quit every day or come home crying, is to do the right thing….. learn to love her.  I found the oh too familiar verses of Luke 6:27-35 (NIV)…

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.  If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”


I know that’s a lot of verse, but I think that I, and many, need every single word of it.  Not just turn the other cheek, we really need the part where it talks about it not being easy.  It will NOT be easy to love this woman.  It is always more easy to love those who love us.  For me to dote on my residents that delight in my presence, as I do them.  That’s the easy part, we start separating the men from the boys when we talk about loving those who daily offend our moral code and lives.

The only answer is to show her love and to pray for the strength to do that.  It won’t be easy, but as the Bible states, it is necessary….


So I couldn’t resist adding a bit of lightness to this post.  For your listening pleasure, Loathing with the Original Broadway cast, from the Broadway musical (that I’ve seen twice…) WICKED!


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