We’ve been given this challenge.
A challenge to understand others. A challenge to understand ourselves.
Since I was very young I didn’t know it at the time, but I was always working on myself and my mindset. Reading books on mindset, watching inspiring tv shows or movies, taking the “quotes” from people in my life and using them as personal affirmations. Allowing myself to be influenced by my grandmother’s “songs of praise”. Writing in a journal almost daily to bring my mind to zero, and consequently getting to better understand my mind!
Have you ever considered how watching and observing the people around you as you grew up also gave you clues to understanding yourself - but if you didn’t have many good role models, all you might have seen are the bad role models but you were still learning something about the nature of human beings. When I say bad what I really mean is people who didn’t know any better because they only knew what they knew and could only behave from their cup of knowledge.
I came to know understanding yourself is the key to understanding others.
Fundamentally we are all the same. We are all human beings, who have had unique and varied experiences but for the most part, we’ve all got the same kind of mind, that operates in pretty much the same way.
To know yourself, you will know others.
Put another way - I am you, you are me. This is about empowering you to find a way to empathise with others. You don’t have to believe this statement yet but imagine for a moment, I am you, and you are me. Imagine your life experiences were my life experiences, then you would know me inside and out? You wouldn’t have to ask me a single question. The knowingness is because you lived that life, and therefore you understand me in that life.
So now imagine I am me but in my life, what do we share as common ground? Ultimately, we are exactly the same - same beating heart, complex mind, thoughts, feelings and emotions.
We might be influenced by different mediums, different people and some people are much more self aware than others. We are all on a journey to better understanding ourselves and others are further along than some.
Taking a growth mindset view means we realise we are all learning, we’re all flawed, we’re all looking for safety, connection and belonging, and our mind have the capacity to learn and grow and change. Knowing this means we can release some of the pressure we put on ourselves to be a certain way or that we can only be a certain way and not another way.
Our being tells a story, it can be described as our non-verbal communication, our state, our undelivered communication. You see as complex as we are as human beings, notice we are human beings and not human doings.
Did you know our thoughts have a direct impact on our ways of being?
As you become more self aware, you’ll become aware of your state, and your ways of being.
Giving ourselves the opportunity to ask ouselves how does this make me feel? Expressing our feelings is not something we are good at, especially if our parents or guardians weren’t very good at it. Well I’m speaking for myself when I say this. I’ve had to learn through trial and error, maybe it’s the same for you?
However, we are not going to express our feelings to anyone we don’t feel safe with. That’s a given and the norm. But what if we could be vulnerable and honest with others about how we’re feeling without feeling as though our heart is free and open and out in the boxing ring, with no cover? How can we do this without feeling bare?
We have to give ourselves permission to decipher what is really going on within ourselves. We have to become an observer. Much like we would observe others, we have to become curious enough to observe ourselves in the good, bad and ugly moments that arise within us especially. Those tell us more about ourselves than the moments when we’re happy. It’s called light and shade, contrast, where you are both sides of the coin.
Those moments are revealing. There is nothing you need to do except for slow down and observe.
The other way to look at this is to see that what we see in others, must be something we see in ourselves or we have seen in ourselves. And we have to become more convinced that our eyes and ears deceive us. What if you could suspend your perspective for just a moment, is it possible to see something brand newly?
Remember our brain takes short cuts. What if how we have perceived how a person shows up, what a person communicates, is not their intention or what they meant to say? What if we only see what we want to see? If we have decided something about the person or people around us then they can only ever show up that way. Can you see beyond the communicated to the intention?
Imagine suspending your perspective long enough to be curious, have empathy, and then is it possible to maybe see something else?
May I request your permission to see something brand newly about yourself in this moment?
Here is the other clincher......What if our perceptions of others are also a microscope to understanding ourselves?
Hi my name is Angela. I have loved writing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. I soon learnt I had a gift of connecting with my ancestors through writing before my 30th birthday.