Human beings have the capacity to be such deeply kind and caring creatures, to enjoy such warm and positive relationships with each other, that I often feel it is a great shame when people let negative thoughts about each other create a sense of conflict and spoil the possibility of friendship. And it is usually such small things that people get upset about. Opinions about each other, judgements, criticisms.
If only we could see what we are doing when we judge another person in some way, if we could observe the sense of separation and opposition we are creating. When we see this, we simply need to remember how nourishing it feels to accept and respect them instead, to see the good aspects of their character, to understand them with their own struggles and challenges, and allow compassion to take the place of judgement.
It is so deeply fulfilling to have the attitude that everyone is your friend, and to realise that friendship is far more important that being right, or being a perfect person. In our humanness, none of us are ‘perfect’ people, but we all have a heart, and it is vitally important to focus on this in our relations with other people.
Often we focus open the ego of another person, and we see their faults. We judge them critically, and as a result we create the feeling of a barrier between them and us. This is such a deep shame, because harmony between individuals is always possible when we let go of the petty hostilities of the ego. We often forget how joyful, beautiful and fulfilling it is just to be in a state of harmony with other people. All we have to do is see the goodness in that other person, rather than being mentally critical of them.
Human beings sometimes have a hard time doing this, because we have been conditioned with a highly critical mind, passed down to us by our elders. But the human species is evolving, away from all that causes disharmony, division and conflict between people. We are evolving towards fully embodying love, so that thoughts of care and compassion replace thoughts of judgement. Words of kindness replace words of harshness and criticism. And actions of selflessness replace actions of selfishness, meaning that we often prioritise helping another over satisfying our own desires.
This may sound challenging, but once our heart wakes up and we realise that living from our heart is what we are here to, we find such a deep fulfilment that was missing from our lives previously. We are here to care for one another, to help one another, to share joy and happiness with one another. And nothing great is needed to do this, because joy and happiness are natural feelings within a human being that is not caught up in their ego, in the realm of judgment and opinions.
If we could just see how the ego turns friends into enemies with a single judgemental thought, we would realise what effect it is having on our lives and our happiness. Our happiness is deeply connected to the quality of the relationships (both inner and outer) that we have with all the people we know.
If there are people towards whom we feel unfriendly, perhaps even holding grievances or harbouring bitterness and resentment, then we will feel this as a sense of inner aggravation, of unfinished business and discomfort within our mind, which keeps coming back into our consciousness until we resolve it. We can do this by forgiving that person. In our mind, we decide to stop punishing them, and we allow our heart to be more compassionate towards them. We no longer harbouring ill-will, therefore we free ourselves from the inner sense of hostility that comes from being in conflict within another individual. It a very liberating and important thing to do.
And it is the same if we feel guilty for something that we ourselves have done or said. We carry around an inner burden that weighs our heart down, making it very difficult for us to experience our full happiness and joy. Again, forgiveness is the remedy. We need to forgive ourselves, and thus stop blaming and punishing ourselves. The weight vanishes from the heart, and happiness can flow back in.
It is important to remember that we are usually trying to do our best, to deal with all the many thoughts and feelings that arise within our being. It is not always easy, as often we feel we have no control over them. If we recognise this very common struggle, that most human beings (including ourselves) are experiencing within their lives on a daily basis, understanding and compassion will naturally arise within us. Hostility will disappear and we will be at peace with ourselves and with all those whom we know.
Peace & blessings,
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