The Nemesis

August 15, 2006

Almost everyone has someone in their life that is their nemesis. It could be a parent, a sibling, a friend or even a partner. This person is such a wonderful mirror that it is difficult to look into. These people often appear to be the opposite of good, using the same gift, talents and power, but for unpleasant outcomes. Sherlock Holmes had Moriarty, Batman had the Joker and Peter Pan had Captain Hook.

We have been so programmed to feel shame at being wrong, that many people go to great lengths to avoid even the slightest suggestion that they have made a mistake. We will argue debate and even in extreme cases do physical harm to anyone who gives the impression that there is a flaw in them. So we have developed defenses. There are the people who have developed the facade of being spiritually aloof– “I am too spiritual to associate with those people.”  There are the tough people—“If no one knows my weakness, they cannot take advantage of me”. There are the hype-sensitive who cannot be touched or spoken to without feeling pain. “Be gentle with me”, they say even though if the situation is reversed they can be quite callous with others. All of these behavior patterns have been developed as survival techniques, some from childhood and others from past lives.

As we move along the path of spiritual evolution we develop discernment, rather than judgment. We can live with loving boundaries, rather than the defensiveness of fear. We stop fighting battles with the mirrors in our lives and learn to embrace them as part of self.

The nemesis is never really an enemy, but a blessing in disguise that comes to help us develop compassion for ourselves and for others. The alter ego shows us our worst side to be forgiven, if we will only remember that what we see in the mirror is not outside of us, but within. The forgiveness we are willing to give others must be bestowed on us.

The nemesis strengthens our character, by reminding us through the negative action of what is appropriate and true. If we are tempted to betray ourselves by just stepping away from our convictions for a moment, the nemesis reminds us of how the outcome of abandoning our self would feel.