How many people do we encounter in a typical day? I’m talking about the clerk helping with a purchase, the person standing in line that makes eye contact and you speak with, the folks at work … really anyone that comes within arm’s length.
How often do we silently ask, “I wonder what they are dealing with?” I’m asking you to join me in thinking about this because most of us can be quick to assume things about people at times when we know nothing about their character or situation.
Conversation incessantly flows throughout our daily lives. Yet, little of it seeps deep enough to be helpful long term. Why is it that when we are asked to talk about our truest selves we normally shut down—unless, of course, we happen to be living in a conducive emotional zone that makes it much easier to beam out to everyone what we’re feeling. But, what about the days that we’re not in the zone?
One of my yoga class teachers, Ted Cox, co-owner of Spirit House Yoga in OKC, often reminds us of Rev. John Watson’s well-considered axiom: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” It’s a great reminder for me to be consistently kind to myself as well as others. Regularly practicing yoga is one way I nurture and contemplate my innermost deep feelings and actions; also it helps release stress, creates positive energy, and aids in keeping my body and mind in a healthy place.
We’ve all known people that are dealing with depression, disease, death or another major loss and masking their feelings to such an extent that you’d never know they were crumbling inside. Their whole world has spun around and turned upside down, draining them dry of life’s vital essence, like water flung off in spin cycles on laundry day. They’re doing well just to dutifully cope with daily must-dos. What if we could look into them free of judgment or labels with eyes of acceptance, compassion and kindness? What if we could do this with ourselves?
Giving ourselves permission to be real is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves and those that care about us. It gives friends and family members opportunities to see us at our best and love us through our worst so we know we are loved through and through, which in turn frees us to realize our full potential.
Often, all we need is unconditional love and kindness to come our way to spark the embers deep within and kindle anew our spiritual selfhood, the part of us that sickness or sadness can never touch.
You are greater than you know.
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