the leaf.....one aspect
It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others. Sydney J Harris
It can be so very easy to make snap judgments about others when first meeting them, can’t it. I certainly don’t mean this in a critical way – more an observation (even though our first snap judgment may well be critical!). We have been conditioned to learn since childhood the apparent necessity to make decisions about people and situations quite quickly in order to respond in terms of possible “fight or flight”. What’s that phrase “you only have one chance to make a first impression” – that may well be true… but I believe you do have more than one chance to make a lasting impression.
Let me give you an example of where I recently made a bit of a snap decision about someone and allowed myself to get a bit cross about it. Over the Solstice weekend I went to Glastonbury with Bill and the lovely Karen Peach (who co-created the Essences of Illumination with me) and her husband Chris. We stayed in quite a nice B&B within walking distance of the Tor and Glastonbury itself. However, I was slightly taken aback by my perception of the apparent blunt and slightly cold exterior of the person who ran it.
Unfortunately I allowed myself to make a snap decision about her and all sorts of judgments flickered in and out of my thoughts. Not good! Not helpful. And, as it turns out, certainly not justified! Fortunately Bill reminded me not to get knocked off centre and to aim to see the whole of the person not just one aspect. Well done Bill!
The morning after the first night we engaged our host in conversation and she completely lit up! Her demeanor changed completely! Talk about transformation. It was really pleasant chatting to her such that I felt such a pang of guilt about my previous judgments!
the tree... another aspect
Fortunately I didn’t allow myself to wallow too much in the guilt as that’s just the Ego self trying to beat us up (it’s a persistent little b*gger isn’t it! – the Ego I mean!).
The whole experience reminded me that it’s helpful to give something of ourselves to others before expecting them to open up to us. By holding back, all we’re doing is withholding from ourselves the love that everyone deserves. It also reminded me that we all have more than one aspect to us and we need tooak look at bit more carefully to see things as they truly are. For example, when you look at the leaf of an oak tree, you know it’s an oak tree leaf.. however you also know that it’s not the tree itself. It’s just a part of it. By taking a step back, we can allow ourselves to see the whole tree – but even then, we’re only seeing one side of it.
The real point here is about learning to take a step back and try to see as much of the person as you can without any judgment and before making any decisions about them. I’m not saying it’s wrong to discern that you do not wish to engage further with a person, just that it’s unhelpful to judge them for what you see initially. Is an oak tree any better than a yew tree? Certainly not… they’re different, have different qualities, and so have different strengths in how they can be put to use. The same goes for humans… we each have different qualities even though we’re all from the same race. Accepting diversity in a non-judgmental way can be one of the toughest challenges we have face in our physical experience, but when we’ve “got it” life can be so much more enjoyable!
So the face you see on someone isn’t who they really are – it’s just one aspect that you’re seeing in that moment. The more you give to others in supporting and respecting them, the more likely you will be to see a more open, supportive, and respecting response. Remember, the world just reflects back to us what we ourselves are portraying…. What aspect are you portraying right now?
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