Seeing the Inherent Goodness in Yourself and Others
Seeing the Inherent Goodness in Yourself and Others:
By Christopher Lane
Seeing the inherent goodness in yourself and others is a practice that can result in a brighter outlook on life, and affect all facets of your personal world in a positive way. How often do we judge others harshly for their actions, and have prejudice against another based on their appearance, religion, race, or lifestyle? Most of us are conditioned by our past; like a computer running the same program over and over, and put a label on every person and thing when it enters our field of vision. The good news is that this pattern can be overcome with a little awareness, and free up a tremendous amount of energy which is wasted as we tag everything outside of ourselves. As we begin to see people, places, and things as they are with an intrinsic quality of goodness, we may begin to view our own lives in the same way.
You can start with this simple practice. The next time that you see someone that you don’t know, become aware of the thoughts that enter your mind. Tune into how this makes you feel, and the energy used to create your projection. Then see if you can view another person without any labels of how they look, what they’re wearing, how they are acting, or any judgment at all. Try to feel that there is a foundation of goodness in this person, solely based on unconditional love in your heart. Afterwards, check in with yourself to see how you feel with letting that person be just as they are, but also having sent them 'loving-kindness'. You may find that as you do this, it will expand to all things and objects, and naturally become the way that you feel about yourself.
Many spiritual traditions and cultures say that we are all connected in an incomprehensible way; we cannot figure this out with our minds but can feel it in our hearts. As we begin to become aware of how we label and judge others, we may realize that this is just a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. When we are angry or emotionally upset, we may view our outside world in the same light, and others with a critical eye. But again we can change this program by letting go of our past conditioning, and cultivating a feeling of love in our hearts for all things great and small.
We all make mistakes and errors of judgment; this is part of the human experience. However, the mistakes may become less, and the errors of judgment lessened, by practicing this technique.This is a form of ‘active’ meditation, and an ‘off the mat’ practice that may change your life in ways that weren't anticipated. Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself and see the results. I will leave you with a quote that illustrates this principle:
When I become excessively critical towards others, it means I am going in the wrong direction. We are usually very good at spotting mistakes, but we should develop the quality of also spotting goodness. If I can see what is good in others or in situations and go beyond the curtain of negativity, I feel good about myself. If I constantly think "he is wrong", I instead create a barrier which blocks me from reaching my own goodness. A very ancient law says: "just as I treat others, I shall be treated by others." ~ Brahma Kumaris
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