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 you give peace, no matter what.
What do you want when you are seeking?
What do you want when you are sad (or lonely)?
What do you want when you are lost?
What do you want when you question or doubt?
What do you want when you worry?
What do you want when you are afraid of revealing yourself?
What do you want always, and forever?
I am not asking these questions rhetorically. Think about your feelings, and what you want in order to relieve that feeling. The examples in the Guiding Thought are meant to be both specific ways that you can act when you are feeling those emotions, and also springboards for you to come up with other ways to give when you are feeling certain emotions.
These are specific examples of the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
In order to fulfill the Golden Rule, you need to know for yourself what you would want someone to do unto you, so that you can then do that.
Go as deeply as you can into your feeling. Think about where it came from, and when you first started feeling that feeling. What does it relate to? Who was involved? Can you remember feeling that feeling at other points in your life? With other people? What did you want when that emotion was triggered, that you did not get? How did you then respond? Did your response soothe the situation or escalate it?
Most people today do not live by the Golden Rule. Instead, they live by the rule, “Do unto others as you think they have done unto you”. This means: if someone thinks they have been betrayed, they betray; if someone feels put-down, put-upon, or burdened, they treat someone with disdain, cruelty, or disrespect. The overarching theme is, “When I make you feel bad, I feel better”.
But the “feeling better” in this case is not a true feeling better. It’s a band-aid for deeper emotional hurt, a momentary salve to forget how deeply one is wounded.
The true healing comes when you give what you would want to receive. Remember, when you give something you are a) confirming that you already have it b) extending it, growing it, expanding it.
The good news is you can begin small, with people you don’t even know, just to try it out. If you are feeling lonely, and you wish for a true connection, go to the grocery store and give the checkout person a genuine smile; feel it from your heart, and make eye contact. You don’t even need to say anything… or if you say, “have a nice day” (again) feel the words genuinely in your heart, that is enough.
You and other people are not separate–if you are feeling something, then at some level everyone else is, too. You don’t need to know what to say to someone else. You only need to know what you would want to hear and say that.
You heal yourself, when you give to others what you would want to receive. When you heal yourself, you heal the world.