Being unhappy with an aspect of yourself or your life is a very isolating experience. When we are dissatisfied with the way we look or feel, we disconnect from the deeper adventures that life offers. We tend to become absorbed in our own thoughts, lives and struggles. As a result we lose sight of the connection that we share with all living beings. Think about this. The same life giving energy that flows through your veins, also flows through the veins of nearly everyone else on this planet. When you are able to see yourself in every aspect of nature, you have attained true inner peace. All human beings have feelings. We feel joy, ecstasy, grief and sadness. When we cut ourselves we bleed and feel pain. Although the mechanisms of our injuries are diverse, our emotional and physical pain is the same.
This week, view everyone you meet as your own daughter or son. Instead of judging the surly cashier or belligerent client, try to see the small child that exists within them. Recognize that angry or contemptuous behavior is often a defense mechanism used to hide feelings of shame and disconnection. Instead of being alienated by a person’s rude behavior, attempt to connect with force within them that you both share. Rather than arguing or attempting to convince others that you are right or know best, strive to be compassionate. Make every effort to distract yourself and others from pain, by focusing on the positive aspects of a situation. For example, if your neighbor launches into a negative monologue about the tanking economy, instead of joining in the misery you could say “Aren’t we are so lucky to have steady employment and a fixed rate mortgage during time like these!” Write about your experiences in your journal.
Spend one entire day this week viewing all people and things in nature as if they were a part of you. When you look into the eyes of your neighbor, boss, and mother in law, see your own inner reflection staring back at you. See yourself in the homeless person on the street and the billionaire in the executive suite. Search for common ground that unites you with others instead of focusing on differences that separate you from the rest of the world. Try to remove all labels that you place on yourself. Our tendency to put ourselves in categories limits our potential and disengages us from the rest of the world. Often times the label we place on ourselves locks us in a role that no longer suits us. For example, if you typically refer to yourself as a “co-dependent” or a “a stubborn person”, refrain from doing so his week. Envision yourself as a human being, instead of a human doing. In your journal, write about what you have in common with the following individuals, a heroin addict, a millionaire, a supermodel, an autistic child and a monk. How is everyone you meet a part of you?