As I read posts and news stories reacting to the events of this week and then reacting to other's reactions, I find myself coming back to this concept. I am grateful for the words that others have shared that have brought me back to what grounds me, what helps me to remember who I most want to be. I am equally grateful to those who show me a different perspective than I would have found on my own.
In the book, Bearing Witness: a Zen Master's Lessons in Making Peace, Bernie Glassman shares the idea that we cannot help or even understand another's situation until we have experienced what they experience. In I Thought it Was Just Me (But It Isn't) Brene Brown references Theresa Wiseman's attributes of empathy.
"Empathy is to be able to see the world as others see it--
This requires putting your own "stuff" aside to see the situation
through your loved one's eyes."
What causes me to struggle, what knocks me off balance and leaves me in a silence I cannot give words to are the comments that elicit judgement or validation in me. Each are equally harming to me and to this universal dialogue that is trying to take place. Before Tuesday, before this election cycle even began, all the things that we are seeing coming to the surface were there. This election did not create them. It only brought them out so we could look at them and the hurt and healing that they are holding with eyes that see the reality we are living in. Without that step we cannot choose or change. We can only pretend that what we don't want to see--in ourselves and in the world--is not really there.
Aloha is being a part of all, and all being a part of me. When there is pain - it is my pain. When there is joy - it is also mine. I respect all that is as part of the Creator and part of me. I will not willfully harm anyone or anything." --Curby Rule
Take a deep breath everyone. Shed your tears if that is what you feel. Hold on to your hope if that is what you feel. When it comes to reaching out to others or even just perceiving what they are sending your way, please be quiet for a moment. Listen to what they are really saying. We each have our hopes and dreams. Our fears and struggles. Our experience of this world we are sharing together. And we can never truly know what another's experience is unless we ask and listen with our personal filters turned off.
This is how I choose to help and be of service in this world I love. I may not share your worries or your joys but I will listen to why they are important to you. I will try my best to put aside what I think you are saying, to remove the feeling of being bolstered up because I think you agree with me or torn down because I think you don't. I will attempt to hear your words unfiltered and offer you safe space to discover who you are and who your most want to be. Namaste. All that is beautiful, kind and loving in me sees the same in you and knows we are one in our hearts. May we find peace and healing together.