How magical is it that we’re often a better human to other people around us than we are to ourselves?
When I find myself in a lost or weakened state, I catch myself thinking things like: “you miserable cur. You brought this on yourself.” And I retreat to somewhere where others can’t see me, where I lick my own wounds and stay until things have blown over. With this, I’m convinced that I’m somehow doing others a favor.
But when I see friends struggling the same way, I think: “you beautiful creature. You are so strong.” All I want to do is to encourage them, to help them find a way out of their dark place. And somehow, I don’t think any less of them. Then I realize, I shouldn’t think any less of myself either.
Thus by the mere fact of simply existing in an authentic way, my friends are teaching me to extend compassion to myself.
There is a maze each of us has constructed for ourselves and now we have a hard time finding a way out. We usually don’t remember why we built it in the first place. There might have been something that we were afraid of, but that was a long time ago, and now those walls are just keeping us in rather than keeping other things out.
Occasionally, others wander inside your maze. It’s easier for them because they saw it from the outside where it looks simpler and less frightening. They wander inside and find you in your dark place, all lost and weakened, but they can now show you the way. All you need to do is trust them. All they need you to do is sometimes do the same for them.
We do not fear other people’s fears. This is our superpower. Let’s use it to save the world.