“But I made the mistake of assuming that everyone else was just as eager to find their light….. It’s okay to pray for everyone’s liberation without joining them in prison.” — Jeff Brown
This is something I do all the time, assume others are seeking their light. At different points in my life, and in various relationships, it’s caused me excruciating pain and unequaled liberation at the same time.
I do assume people are doing self-work to evolve. It’s a beautiful way to be, I refuse to change that about myself, and yet it’s a thoroughly stupid assumption to make.
Even if they appear to be and elude to the fact they are, watch their actions, their stressors and how they cope with them.
Those that seek perfection in themselves and others will stay in a cycle of suffering.
Life, people, love, relationships… none are perfect.
Life is full of stressors and we only suffer if we think everything in life should be, or eventually will be, perfect.
It won’t be.
Never will be.
How those around you react to stress tells you where they’re at in their own Spiritual development.
I say Spiritual yet it applies to any type of personal growth. I feel our whole purpose here is to get to know ourselves and to flow with the dance of life. Call it good or bad, yet life just is. How we process joy & hardship alike creates our personal balance.
Can we maintain a sense of equanimity?
Can we honor our boundaries?
Can we communicate freely?
Can we share our boundaries without fear of judgement?
These are things that will be more than ok in any relationship with someone who is self-aware.
I will keep seeing the best in others.
I will also pay attention to where I fall short with these same issues.
Relationships can be messy.
I want to practice the benefit of the doubt no matter what relationship I am in… co-workers, lovers, friends, children or even strangers.
I will also keep my head on straight and know that many are simply manipulating others because they’ve yet to find true inner-peace.
However… I remain open, loving and optimistic that my seeking shines a light in the darkness that others are facing.
It’s not easy to be blamed, lied to, ignored, hurt and let down.
This quote helps me with that…
We are all just walking one another home.
Never forget that our most painful soul-lessons come into our lives to show us what we are made of, to help us grow and fulfill our own Dharma.
A huge part of my Dharma is to love unconditionally— to love people where they’re at — but I’m not walking into anyone else’s prison.
In the words of author Jeff Brown …
“The humanism bypass. I did it for years. I saw glimpses of someone’s potential, their beautiful soul, their loving heart, and told myself that this was who they truly were, ignoring all the rest. But the rest was what destroyed. The rest is where they lived most of the time. The rest was no illusion- it was them, too. This self-destructive pattern was birthed in two places: (1) my deep desire to see the best in my difficult parents. Not for them, but for me. I needed to believe that there was something kind and caring living inside of them; (2) a misplaced projection from my own self-concept work. I held the belief in my own potential, as a way of overcoming the shame I carried. But I made the mistake of assuming that everyone else was just as eager to find their light. Of course we all have glowing potential. At the core, we are all magnificent beings with profound capacities. But how many of us fully actualize it? At this stage of human development, not so many. The trick is to hold the space for two things at once- a deep belief in everyone’s possibilities, and a deep regard for your own well-being. It’s okay to pray for everyone’s liberation without joining them in prison. Pray from outside the prison walls, while taking exquisite care of yourself. It’s okay- you can’t do the work for them anyway. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries… don’t leave home without them…” ~~ Jeff Brown