- Mental Health
How To Achieve Inner Peace By Focusing On Similarities Rather Than Differences
Life can be viewed from an endless multitude of angles. For example, my life is viewed from a white European, middle class, British, English, slightly Finnish, Christian, London, all girls school, 3 siblings, non-divorced parents, 2 divorces, 3 children, I've had cancer, the love of my life just died of cancer, point of view. It's extremely unlikely that anyone else would share exactly the same life view, especially when you consider that the examples quoted are but a mere fleck of this lifetime.
My collection of experiences, which are shaping my conscious awareness in this lifetime are no better than any other and no worse for that matter. They are just different; they are the cause creating the effect of how I view the world/Universe.
Even within myself I have many different views of the world. It all depends where you are standing doesn't it? When I'm standing in a very strong mother of a young girl place I do react and see things differently than when I am running a healing course. Neither is a better perspective, one fits more in line with spiritual teachings but that just makes it different, not better.
I recently skidded off an icy road whilst driving with my 29 year old daughter, we both sat next to each other in the exact same experience with almost identical genes, yet my experience was one of "Oh no, how embarrassing that I can't control this skid and it'll be at least another hour before I get home and have something to drink and eat some chocolate" whilst my daughter was right next to me having the most terrifying experience of her life!
I'm used to icy conditions in Finland and have been in a soft snowy ditch at least 4 times now but my daughter had never experienced that before.
Same event with the same geography but neatly highlighting how we are stood in different places with different perspectives even as we are physically located in exactly the same space.
As humans we tend to focus on the differences between us rather than the similarities. Mankind may use different words or stand in different places but we are all looking at, being part of and experiencing, the same world.
I don't personally subscribe to any one particular mode of healing or spiritual advancement or lifestyle. Throughout my life there have been many times when I recognise the words of one teacher or system reflecting the thoughts of quite another, like fitting two giant pieces of a jigsaw together. This must be how the bigger picture comes together!
Those who don't have any particular requirement to have their god as the one true, excluding all others type god are readily able to recognise the similarities between all our gods and to recognise the common themes. Those who have no vested interest in a particular social structure can see the common threads woven through them all.
Even my experiences as a management accountant come into my healing perspective when I recognise the importance of my business plan and my mission statement….or setting my intention as we called it at the Energy Healing School.
We are all in relationship with each other, some in more obvious ways than others but there is always some relationship, or common theme amongst Mankind. From the strongest and most obvious such as lover or mother right through fellow management accountants, reiki healers, farmers/gardeners, writers, photographers all the way through to the recognition that we are all human. None better than any other, just all standing in different places and therefore having different perspectives on the world.
This relationship exists whether we recognise it or not just the same as my left foot exists and is in relationship to me whether I recognise it or not! When we consciously recognise and see our relationship to all things, especially other people we become more powerful.
When large groups of individual people stand together and announced their shared desire for some common cause, perhaps through a group such as Avaaz.org they are powerful and something wonderful happens, something life enhancing.
And then when large groups of individual people form and focus on their differences and started name calling something powerful and destructive happens.
When your neighbour does something so destructive, so different to your ideals, why not keep in mind your relationship to them. Remember that you are both human, then wonder what perspective they might have which would cause them to act as they do when it really doesn't make any sense to you….because clearly it makes sense to them or they wouldn't be doing it.
We are all looking into and being part of the same world. We are all seeing it differently because we are all standing in different places. Some of us are more blinkered than others. In some parts of the world all we see is darkness even when others standing in different places see only light.
You Don't Have To Fight To Live As You Wish
We don't need to fight for our view, it will always exist whether we fight for it or not. But when we are fighting our view is lost to us because we are focused elsewhere. When we believe we have to fight to maintain our view we become a self fulfilling prophecy. If we fight to keep "our" world intact we destroy it anyway by forgetting and not seeing our connections whilst being fearful of, rather than celebrating our differences.
Lead by example….or as Gandhi said, be the change you wish to see in the world. If you subscribe to the notion that you have a successful and therefore happy life by acquiring material items then don't be so surprised when your unhappy neighbour takes those items in an attempt to better his life. When we subscribe to a culture which ranks our worth by the size of our plasma TV or the newness of our mobile phone don't be surprised if that is what we create!
And finally, if you don't understand your neighbour but you would like to…go stand in his shoes for a while and see how they fit.