We all want to be listened. We all want to be understood. The relationship we have with everyone and everything affects our lives as well as others. Our connections happen within the space of gratitude or refusal to be with our pain.
Nobody lives in isolation. We are constantly in relationship with things, people and ideas. Life is about relationships. When two people generate another being, relationships are being formed in a cellular and energetic level. Throughout our lives we will form relationships with the world around and, most importantly, with ourselves.
We are certainly part of an organic and cosmic evolution that have puzzled the minds of many who marveled at its mystery. All organisms are evolving together in a cycle that are subjected to basic physical laws that govern the universe we inhabit. We are all born under similar physiological circumstances; we are all impacted by the random vulnerabilities, we all fight for survival. We all experience pain, suffering, joy and success, and we all get transformed along the way. It is like that with everyone, regardless of social class, race, personal beliefs, gender, evolutionary species or geographic location: we learn through experience and observation.
The encounter between two beings (human or not) is a magical moment where something greater takes place and adds meaning to our lives. That’s where life takes place: through encounters and interactions. Our interactions with everything, other people, animals, the environment, circumstances, food, entertainment, technology, work, objects and ideologies form the basic foundation upon which our personalities, inclinations and identities will develop. To me, every encounter is an opportunity for me to bow in reverence for the chance to learn from the experience of connection.
Every encounter we have, be it with another human being, an animal, a situation, the objects of our desire or any phenomena, for that matter, offers the chance for us to step out of ourselves and be 100% present with the other. We live most of our lives involved with the inner conversations going on in our minds and we forget to pay attention to what is taking place in front of us from an objective and fresh standpoint. Instead we are often too preoccupied with what to say or involved in our personal stories and needs. We fail to experience the moment for what it is and bask in its full potential and possibilities.
When we listen to each other, or when we are completely present in a situation – without judgement, rejection or attachment – we are able to see things clearly and respond accordingly. It is really not about ourselves anymore, but about the interaction and the responsiveness that will allow for effective communication to take place.
When we interact with another being (or anything at all), we must enter that sacred space with complete reverence for the experience. We need to be open to allow the flow of energy and the range of emotions we experience with serenity, poise and accountability for our thoughts, words and actions. Being present and mindful will guide us through this journey as we keep our reactions in check, and respond, instead, in a more balanced and integrated state of mind.
Usually when we listen to people we are constantly relating what they say to our own personal stories and experiences and we label what they are telling us and categorize it to fit our perceptions and opinions. Instead, we should allow the possibility of a conversation where we just listen and let the other person communicate their perceptions without any personal meaning attached to what they say. After all, it is their experience, not ours. We are there to listen and try and understand how they see it, and what makes them feel the way they do.
When we are present we step out of ourselves and become one with the person who is interacting with us, another being, or a situation. There is no need to pay attention to the incessant need that our minds have to label and relate whatever we are experiencing with something that took place in the past. The mind needs that in order to survive through its logical categorization, but we do not. The key to understanding this process is in itself the doorway that will enable us to become more mindful and observe our minds thinking, and realize that those stories are only stories and that we do not need to be prisoners of automatic reactions based on those ingrained acts of labeling and old habits.
It is not an easy process in any way, but I find it interesting to observe and have the compassion to accept myself just as I am. Fear lies at the foundation of our reactions. It’s our wounded personification of ourselves as a child. We need to nurture those disconnected parts of our selves and integrate them as a whole. It is who we are and we should honor that. But we can also find the space to heal and become our own parent.
Interacting with people, all beings and situations gives us the opportunity to simply listen and observe, and step out of our self-centered need to relate whatever someone is saying, or whatever we might encounter in the form of experience, as negatively directed towards us. We are all in this together and we heal each other as we give our time and full attention at every moment. As we look into one another’s eyes we recognize ourselves as part of the connected organism we are.
In the end, as we look at one another and recognize how similar and familiar we are, we can only smile and bow in reverence and gratitude for the many ways we touch each other with our presence and attention as we all heal together in this wondrous process.