by Bert Hellinger, 2003
How to treat your rivals, the vane ones as much as the frightful ones?
Without even considering their intentions, the first thing is to respect them. In the end, we do not know what is their role nor whom they serve. Thus, I respect the time they take to speak, to write, to act; I respect the attention they pay to me, even to others, and to the whole in all its extension. I recognise that on doing that, they serve that whole, and through it, to me and many others. Without resistance, nothing that is alive or truly human can develop. Only thanks to the resistance that comes from outside, something can become differentiated, inserted into something other of greater extension. Thanks to the resistance, within a frame with limits, something may find its strength and an understanding of what really is possible. All that which cannot expand anymore will be forced to concentrate. Instead of height and width, it will be able to gain depth.
Secondly, on being opposed to me, my rivals often find their own path with greater ease. In this, they serve the whole better than if they approved of me or followed me, renouncing their own truth. That way, every one offers his contribution only from what is their own. He who finds that authenticity eventually stops feeding hostility, having lost his fear of the others as well as the urgent need of forcing them to yield to his image or even subjugate them. He who finds his authenticity is connected to everyone in a calm manner. He develops tolerance in front of his opponents and knows how to wait patiently until the hostility of those enemies who seek what is their own is dissolved.
It is important to notice, however, that on wishing others bad, some neglect themselves or betray what is theirs.
Thirdly, hostility usually needs acolytes. It gains strength thanks to their numbers and the loyalty that holds them together in the opposition. But with this, they also strengthen the followers of him who they oppose. When followers fall, both factions’ strength falls also. When left without followers, the leaders of both opposed factions remain facing each other. Then a greater force may be revealed.
How can we recognise that greater force?
It is discovered through what subsists. Only what subsists was and is essential.
Translation of “La fuerza del adversario”, by Bert Hellinger, Instituto Virtual Hellinger, 2003, available at http://www2.hellinger.com/backup/bert-hellinger-international/espanola-es/sciencia/la-fuerza-del-adversario/