May those who seek, help others find;
May those who sorrow, be compassionate;
May those who are lost, light a path for another;
May those who question or doubt, give guidance;
May those who worry, lift the burden of another;
May those who hide, see their own light in the eyes of a stranger;
May we all give peace, no matter what.
There have been a lot of inter-connections for me from day-to-day on this journey. I have not experienced this degree of being able to link one day’s insights with another day’s insights. It’s kind of cool.
With today’s guiding thought, I have 3 insights that are extensions of previous days’ ruminations.
1) Having thoughts ‘behind’ or ‘under’ external circumstances that unite the (otherwise random or disparate) circumstances (Day 25, Day 28)
2) Seeing another’s interest as your own, or as equal to your own (Day 19)
3) Uniting with another and extending that sense of Oneness (Day 19, Day 25, Day 27)
Today’s guiding thought seems to sum up all three of these ideas.
First, with the guiding thought, it is necessary to “have thoughts ‘behind’ or ‘under’ the external circumstances. What I mean by that is, I may not have the same reason as someone else to be sad, but we are both sad; I may not be worrying about the same things as someone else, but we are both worried; I may not feel the same doubt as someone else, but we both feel doubt. What’s underneath our sadness, worry, or doubt is that we are both experiencing sadness, worry, or doubt. We don’t experience it the same way, we may not even feel the same way, but we share something that we call “sadness”, “worry”, or “doubt”.
Often times, people unite in sadness (for example) because of similar external circumstances: each has lost a loved one or each has a terminal illness, etc. In these cases, the people involved can understand the situation, the circumstances, and “what you are going through”. And that understanding is very important.
It’s also good to remember, though, that when people feel sad (or worried or doubtful), sometimes they don’t need someone to understand; sometimes they just need someone to care.
Since pretty much everyone has at some point felt sadness, worry, doubt, fear, anxiety, angst, stress, etc., that alone qualifies them to care. Tapping into your own emotions to be able to care about someone else is tapping into an idea that is ‘under’ or ‘behind’ the given circumstance.
By recognizing the similarity of feeling, a bridge is built that unites two people through those feelings.
Second, after recognizing a similarity of feeling, it’s then possible to think, “I know how that person feels. I have felt sad. Because I have felt sad, I want to help that person through their sadness.”
When this thought occurs, you are seeing that person’s interest as equal to yours. You are not thinking, “Oh good, that person is sad, now I feel better” (although some people do think this way). You are thinking, “I know how much it sucks to be sad, and I want to help you.” Your sadness is the same; when you were sad, what helped you? What can you give to someone who is sad?
It can be hard to do this while you are sad, but that is precisely what the guiding thought asks of you. At the moment that you are most overwhelmed is precisely the moment to give to another person exactly what you wish someone would give to you, to help you.
(Note: it is not even necessary for the other person to be feeling sad, worried, doubtful, etc. for you to be feeling something and give them what you want. Even if someone is happy, if you feel sad or worried, give them generic encouraging words; tell them what you would want to hear in a neutral way. They don’t have to know it’s because you are feeling something.)
This is the ultimate way to demonstrate that you see someone else’s interests as equal to your own.
The reason it is the ultimate way to demonstrate this would be my third point above: because when you give to someone what you want for yourself, you are embracing Oneness. When you give to another, seeing that person as equal to you, in Oneness, you truly are giving to yourself.
The theory lies in the words, “we are One”. The reality lies in its practice. The guiding thought today tells us how to live the practice, enacting Oneness.