Love thy neighbor as thyself?
I think we can all agree this suggestion at times can be challenging as we race about our day, determined to complete the task at hand and focused on our individual path. We see reality through our perspective alone. So when we get thwarted by someone on their own trajectory, when things don’t unfold as smooth as planned, how easy it is to quickly judge, blame, assume, or become irritated. Perhaps we label these people as ‘difficult’ and we do so without hesitation. But what if we did hesitate, what if we were to pause and bring compassion into the equation. What would that look like?
This begs the question:
Are we willing to look at ourselves, really look, in any given situation and recognize that what we perceive almost always originates from right within ourselves? In other words, maybe it’s not “he, she or them”, but rather “me”?
Some things to ask yourself the next time you judge, become angry or annoyed:
1. Are you taking care of yourself?
When we are tired, malnourished, spread too thin, lacking focus or addicted our brains are not functioning in their ideal manner, our emotions are all over the map, we are depleted and it is much more challenging to look at the glass half full. For the next couple of days, make it a point to write down how you are physically feeling and aim to make shifts in your daily routine that will better serve you*. You deserve to be living in a state of exuberance and joy, not in exhaustion. Life is tough enough, let’s not make it harder for ourselves. (*happy to email you a complimentary document on Lifestyle Suggestions)
2. Have you thought about looking at everyone in your life through honest eyes of compassion?
Compassion means having a concern for – genuinely caring about – the well being of others. It means you are willing to be patient, to help and to attempt to understand others without judgment. To understand that we all have different strengths and weaknesses. What we focus on expands, if you hone in on someone ‘s weakness you are bound to exacerbate the situation. Rather, try tapping into your strength to help, not hinder, them. While we are all incredibly different, every single one of us knows what it is like to be human. It is not always easy. I’ve noticed that for myself if I start with kind thoughts, they become kind words and then translate into kind action. When my thoughts are not kind I know I need to PAUSE and look at myself.
3. Might you take a walk in their shoes?
“Never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”.
We are programmed to make snap judgments before we even know what it is like to be the person we are judging. How selfish of us to assume we know them or what they are going through! The key to putting on their shoes is to slow down, to step out of ‘your’ line of vision and really consider what they are going through. Then, we can have a better idea of how our actions impacted them and why they responded the way they did.
I wrote this blog today because yesterday I heard someone say the words “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” and I realized that in order to do that we need to:
TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES, EMBRACE COMPASSION AND BE WILLING TO LEARN. The world can never get enough love, let’s help spread it…