In awakened intelligence,
we rediscover our innocence.
how embarrassing to really see in the nooks of our little grievances, judgments and ill will….how to be the light? how to send grace and beauty and real kindness? first we have to see the the dark in the nooks…then we can send in the light…..
Whenever we are caught in our own self-centered drama, everyone else becomes “other” to us, different and unreal. The world becomes a backdrop to our own special experience and everyone in it serves as supporting cast, some as adversaries, some as allies, most as simply irrelevant. Because involvement with our personal desires and concerns prevents us from paying close attention to anyone else, those around us—even family and friends—can become unreal, two-dimensional cardboard figures, not humans with wants and fears and throbbing hearts. The more different someone seems from us, the more unreal they may feel to us. We can too easily ignore or dismiss people when they are of a different race or religion, when they come from a different socio-economic “class.” Assessing them as either superior or inferior, better or worse, important or unimportant, we distance ourselves.
Fixating on appearances—their looks, behavior, ways of speaking—we peg them as certain types. They are HIV positive or an alcoholic, a leftist or fundamentalist, a criminal or power-monger, a feminist or do-gooder. Sometimes our type-casting has more to do with temperament—the person is boring or narcissistic, needy or pushy, anxious or depressed. Whether extreme or subtle, typing others makes the real human invisible to our eyes and closes our heart. Once someone is an unreal other, we lose sight of how they hurt. Because we don’t experience them as feeling beings, we not only ignore them, we can inflict pain on them without compunction. Not seeing that others are real leads to a father disowning his son for being gay, divorced parents using their children as weapons. All the enormous suffering of violence and war comes from our basic failure to see that others are real. In teaching the compassion practices, I sometimes ask students to bring to mind someone they see regularly but are not personally involved with. Then I invite them to consider, “What does he or she need?” “What does this person fear?” “What is life like for this person?”……Tara Brach
There are indeed sides of us that we don’t acknowledge or accept — or aren’t even aware of yet. Consciously, perhaps mostly unconsciously, the sides of us we tend to avoid make us feel uncomfortable, require effort or deep inquiry, so instead of doing the work, we desperately try to disown such traits, pieces and parts, yet they remain tightly intact, longing for our attention — and tainting our perception of reality.
No matter what path we are on, what title we’ve earned/have given ourselves or how good we try to be, when we don’t own up to all sides of our being, it is very possible that we force our unconscious behavior onto others. In other words, we recognize and reclaim them from the people in our lives.
But, as they say, out of the darkness comes the light…
As long as we continue to deny the existence of our whole selves, we will continue to perpetuate madness on earth. When we embrace all sides of us, it becomes easier to navigate and to create a narrative where it’s possible for us to see and feel our full potential within the totality of who and what we are.
Breathe deeply in times of distress, controversy and requested effort. Connect before proceeding into action or non-action. Discuss matters without fear, greed, violence or hostility. Strive for a compassionate connection versus an angry stance that takes us all further a part instead of together.
Instead of assigning rigid meaning or facts to your life or anyone else’s, invite an element of expansiveness and possibility.
You are the creator of your own battles, experiences, stories, perceptions and reality. You cannot change what you refuse to acknowledge. You have the power to exercise your ability of perception in every circumstance and every circumstance can be an invitation to see who and what you are more clearly.
….Tanya Lee Markul