Everyone looks carefree from the outside. Other people’s lives often seem more exciting than our own. Our problems and woes feel heavier on our shoulders. If only everyone knew how each other feels. If only…
The way our social landscape is structured, it gives us the impression of some perfect model of living that is disconcerting and in opposite relation to what we see on a day to day basis for each individual. we are far from being perfect, and yet, we are perfect just the way we are. That plastic, perfect picture displayed on our TV sets, magazines, and social media galore, with all the simulacra under layers of filters, do not represent who we truly are. It only captures that idea or concept of some far-flung representation of some kind of optimum ideal or deep-rooted desire to be flawless and be able to control reality and the conditions of impermanence we are all under the influence of.
We look at each other and we back off in face of the reading we make when we come in contact with one another. Our conditioned minds respond to people and situations through the lens of the interpretations we perform filtered by our clouded minds. We judge, we interpret, we classify and we label in a vain attempt to control. Little do we know that we cannot really change people, or the reality of what we experience, based on our resistance to fully accept what is not expected, anticipated or desired. Each person is what they are regardless of what we wish them to be.
Being present in our lives requires that we abandon our attempt to change what is. We gotta move along and learn with each other; learn with our pain, and learn with our weirdness. There is simply no right or wrong. There are only possibilities, views, perspectives, choices, and the flowing rhythm of our lives together as a community. As a group we grow stronger and heal each other, with our personal stories, our experiences.
To be grounded in compassion is to be able to recognize that everyone is going through similar challenges to our own. Everyone is afflicted by doubts, emotional and physical suffering, trauma and psychological disorders; everyone is prone to disease. Our defense mechanisms, of course, will prompt us to show that we are all fine, and that our lives are going smoothly and untouched by the conditions that affect the human experience.
We only need to sit with each other, let our guard down, and look each other in the eye to realize how similar we are. When we share our stories unabashedly, we come closer to a mutual understanding that it is all right to become vulnerable and be open to trust. When this type of dialogue takes place between two people, or in a group, healing also takes place and we all become better human beings in the process.
It is overwhelmingly tiring to try and pretend that we are strong all the time and that we have super powers and that nothing affects us. It is like we are swimming upstream. By letting go and trusting, we actually get stronger in our weakness. It is tremendously inspiring to hear someone open up about their fears, struggles, frustrations and pain. When that kind of communication happens, something deeply profound becomes apparent: our interconnectedness.
Our lives are interconnected and the energy of life flows through us all in a ritual of constant evolution. Our communities are strengthened when each person is able to contribute with their unique stories. We create bonds that tie us together in the universal fabric of the human experience. We get in touch with our essence and we start seeing the world through new lenses. The world starts to make sense and we perceive meaning in the smallest details.
Every time I have the chance to connect with someone on that level I take the opportunity to be present and listen. I feel I grow so much from the experience of being in contact with someone in a atmosphere of honesty and trust. After all, even if the shoelaces are missing, two people are better than one to find new laces and tie them together. At times, our own shoelaces might come untied, and it is nice to have someone around to let us know of the fact before we stumble and fall.
Let’s walk together and watch our steps, confident that we can trust each other. Let’s walk that extra mile as if we were walking in each other’s shoes. Then we will know!