Thursday, June 17, 2010
It can be very difficult to be empathetic toward someone who is stuck in forgetting. When people act in ways that are contrary to our best interest, or are hurtful to us or others, it’s easy to become angry and judgmental toward them. But the truth is that we all get stuck in forgetting. All of us put our worst foot forward at times, often without meaning or wanting to, when old belief systems or unconscious habits take over.
We can never solve a problem in the same energy as the problem itself. Meeting anger with anger makes it grow; meeting competition with more competition only succeeds in creating invalidation and shutting down communication. We need to take an energetic step up to move out of the negative cycles that can happen between people. It’s not easy, especially when we’re feeling attacked in some way, to take the higher road, but it is ultimately healthier for us and more productive for all involved.
If someone is angry at or jealous of someone else, but the other person meets it with understanding or empathy, or even love, there is nowhere for the anger or jealousy to go. It does not become bigger and more powerful by moving from person to person. When we meet difficult situations in this way the buck really does stop with us. Not only are we consciously choosing how we experience our world, we are leaving the energy with the other person to manage in a way that will work best for him. And this is at is should be.
Human beings are an incredibly complex and dynamic mass of shifting energies that can be at times clear and centered and at other times lost and grasping. People do small-minded things sometimes, and those same people also do very noble things. I’ve realized how easy it is to label someone based on one action, but that really isn’t the entire picture of who they are. Ultimately, what others do has nothing at all to do with us, but everything to do with how much of the truth of their own greatness they are recognizing in the moment.
My grandmother was full of sayings, and one was to turn the other cheek. That’s not to say that I think we should allow others to treat us unfairly or inappropriately. But turning the other cheek, with empathy, and striving to understand that there is more to someone than what they might be expressing, is a step toward living in the light of truth. Even though someone may not be loveable in this moment, they remain the embodiment of love, just temporarily stuck in forgetting who they are.
May we all be met with empathy in our forgetting, and may this tool be a blessing. . .