One With Others

5 Jan

There are those who approach the analysis of dreams from the standpoint that every person appearing in the dream represents some aspect of oneself. That can be extremely helpful in taking on the “message” of a given dream, particularly when we are working on living “in cause” in our life – taking responsibility for our actions and circumstances, rather than playing the “pawn” in a giant chess game of life.

Seems that’s a foreign idea to some. I’ve gotten some angry comments from people who feel they aren’t responsible for their lot in life. That’s okay. I can take it. 🙂

More importantly than looking at dreams in that manner is the exercise of looking at LIFE in that way – perceiving everyone we encounter as an aspect of our Self.

“Embrace oneness by seeing yourself in everyone you encounter.” -Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

If I’m looking for myself in another person – especially one that I may not like or get along with, then I’m more likely to find a way to resolve my perceived differences with them.

I call it finding common ground.

That does two things:

1. It eliminates obstacles to understanding, and opens the door for cooperation, and

2. It leads to a better sense of self.

When we can see our “oneness” with others, we can more readily have compassion for them as well as ourselves.

My formal training was in Theater as an actor. The reason that an actor can portray everything from Gandhi to Jack-the-Ripper is because we ALL possess the far extremes of “good” and “bad” and everything in-between on the full spectrum of human behavior.

Once we recognize that within ourselves, it becomes easier to acknowledge that someone else is acting out of a particular place, rather than labeling them summarily as “this” or “that” type of person.

Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha, my spiritual mentor and Elder of 25 years, has often shared a wonderful story of how traditionally she and the other children would sometimes characterize one of the Old Ones in the community as “being with the Bear today” – in other words, a bit on the gruff or grumpy side. The children could laugh and feel love for that person even though the Old One might not be in the most loving place themselves, because the children were practicing a form of seeing themselves in others, a form of compassion.

“Compassion and love are not a luxury. As the source both of inner and external peace, they are fundamental to the survival of our species.” –Dalai Lama

The more I come to realize that life is like walking around in a house of mirrors, the more I come to embrace my oneness with others and practice compassion towards them and myself.

I have come to appreciate that on the days I’m in right relationship with myself, I am in right relationship with my world. – Deborah Adler

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved.

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