We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage & risk.
- Thomas Moore -
It is such a blessing when you find someone with whom you can be yourself completely. Often people only want you to show your good side, they are afraid of your demons. & I'm not saying that you should unleash your hell rats at free will, no, definitely not; you are hugely responsible for your own bloody emotional trauma & baggage (which are the main factors as to how you react & behave in situations), yet as a mere human I myself know how difficult it can be to get out of this sink-hole.
It's like you realize what you are doing, but the awareness, the watcher, is a tiny figure at the back of your mind; he/she cannot reel in the beasts that are galloping out at full speed.
I have found that often times people do not need their problems fixed. Sometimes the healing happens just in the form of listening. & man it can sometimes be bloody hard to just listen!
First of all it is important to have the mindset that the behaviour of others does not reflect who we truly are. If one chooses to use harsh words on you, or accuse you of things you have never done, it is merely a reflection of their state of mind, not your character. Not to say that you should go on receiving verbal abuse from everyone, hahahahah...I guess it depends on the individual. As an empath I've always struggled with this. Very quickly I can locate the point of trauma & reason for that particular behaviour. But this 'gift' very quickly becomes a curse when I use this reason as an excuse for the other's behaviour, & go on accepting what they offer me.
But hang on, recently I've come to realize that this is not always a curse. In fact, I've realized that this is what is known as 'compassion'. Only thing is that sometimes I become too attached to the process & the outcome. I do not have to be a martyr of sorts to benefit another. Just because I can see something, does not mean I have to do anything about it. It is not always my business to heal others at my own expense.
Sometimes, yes, but not all the time. I am only responsible for myself.
To be able to listen without judgement, whilst maintaining a neutral mindset, takes a lot of self-knowledge & awareness. That Bruce Lee quote comes to mind: 'be like water, my friend'. No matter how you karate chop or beat it with a stick, water remains as it is - it is not injured, nor broken, nor torn apart.
& sometimes just by listening, you are practising compassion. At least have some compassion for the speaker who was courageous enough to bare his/her heart to you; at the risk of sounding stupid, at the risk of being judged; he/she put their trust & faith in you. The least you can do is listen.
Even if that listening has to be in the form of shouting or harsh words, if you have enough compassion; that listening can be healing enough. To just allow the other to get rid of all his/her internal garbage, before we plant new & beautiful things. & to not be biased about this person after they have revealed their stories.
I feel honoured when people approach me with their stories, & when they allow me the space to tell mine. It is a very precious, sacred space, even if it exists for just a few moments in time.
To have somebody acknowledge & see the good & bad in you, yet still love & accept you just the same - what else could a girl ask for? It's never about money or materialistic items, it's all about the things that cannot be bought.
A very beautiful parable that I learnt in Rishikesh from our dear teacher Gurumukh-ji:
As we were travelling up the mountain in the van, I noticed the electrical cables in the distance. & I started to think - what amount of effort was needed to build those wires to connect each mountain so that there can be light everywhere! Similarly, we are all mountains, solitary beings. Just like how the electrical wires were put in place to connect the mountains, we need effort to connect to one another. & through this connection, no one is left in darkness.
& what about compassion? (Geez, sorry peeps, his stories are so oshem that I can't help retelling them every chance I get, hahahahahah!)
Say you & your friends are walking a dark pathway & you are holding a torch light. Your friend who walks in front of you cannot see where he/she is going, simply because their shadow is blocking the path. Similarly, your friend who is behind you cannot see either, because your shadow is now blocking their path! So you all have to walk together, so that the path is lit up in front of all of you. Therefore friendship is all about walking together, the person who is more advanced waits for the other who is behind, so that we can all move forward in unison. This is what friendship & compassion is all about.
Hey, kind of like that phrase from Lilo & Stitch - 'ohana means family, & family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten'. Bahahahahah!
Tomorrow: the next step - sharing.