"I will never apologize for saying that the future of humanity and the future of the world is going to be defined by what we have in common as opposed to those things that separate us and ultimately lead us into conflict." - Barack Obama
The end of the virtual coaching training around "Fulfilment" in which I was honoured to assist ended as in every of their coaching trainings with a so-called "Completion" slot. This is the moment where every participant is able to share their final words before they are "complete". Often these are heartful thanks for the learning experience, the community, the workshop leaders, the connections made, the coaching given and received, and more. One participant even made me cry and while I still cannot make up my mind what triggered my emotion, I know that I was touched by her genuine and sincere character. She was Asian, too, so maybe she reminded me of who I was used to be ...
What I, however, wanted to share today was the commonalities in each of the diverse participants` final messages. Yes, all the participants share their motivation for coaching, so we had a relatively like-minded group. Yet how and what the participants shared in this final moment showed me that all long for the same ideals and are touched by the same ideals. What do I mean by ideals? Let`s dig deeper into 3 things that we all share (believe it or not):
1. We all long for connection.
Besides our physical wiring for connection and relationships, our behaviors and actions often are a form of seeking and establishing connection. For one, it may be via a successful career acknowledged by others; for another, it may be through family and friends; or for another, it may be via meditation connecting within and/or with a higher force. I believe that no one wants to be alone and this is coming from me who loves to be alone, so what I mean here is that life becomes meaningful if we can learn, grow, laugh, cry, share with others. Our relationships are, as the word implies, an opportunity for us to experience ourselves by relating to another person. Even if we are not friends with someone or have negative emotions towards this person, this relationship tells us something valuable about us. Relationships also help us create new experiences (e.g. romantic growth), expand our horizons (e.g. other people`s stories), and accelerate our emotions (e.g. laughing with others). Relationships are also a channel for us ourselves to give, to love, to contribute to another person`s life.
2. We all want to be seen - truly seen.
This leads to the next point that we all share - we all want to be seen, truly seen. Take the person mentioned before who strives for a successful career and a status acknowledged by the rest of the organization. Yes, this person may enjoy visibility in the company, but this is only a perceived visibility. In fact, most colleagues may not even know this person as a person - how are they outside work? What do they stand for? Who are they really? And yes, you may argue, all of this may not be important at work (although happy to argue about this unsustainable model), but what this person may unconsciously long for, is to be truly seen, accepted, and celebrated. In this world, we learn to think that we can likely achieve this by pursuing status, so following others` expectations, rather than pursuing our own vision of life, that is, showing our true self. Admittedly, latter is the more difficult path - to be different from others, to deal with uncertainty (following the expected career path is much easier), to stay focused on your purpose while not being distracted by others` reactions. However, you can tell that if this person is courageous in showing their true self, the reward is immeasurable - to be seen for who they truly are, unleashing even more power to make a meaningful impact.
3. We all speak the same language - that of love.
While I refrain from saying "we are all love" (although I do believe in it ;)), what I mean by this commonality is the fact that we see when love is there, we express love in our own way, and we long for love in different forms. If you see a mother holding her baby; if you see a couple ignoring what is happening around them; if you visit your parents in the hospital and feel emotional - all this is love expressed in so many ways. Media makes us think of one way how love should look like - that love is even comparable, so you need to win this competition of having more love than others (who says a 10-karat diamond ring is of deeper love than a 25-year marriage? (Note: None of them are explicit indicators of "love")). So what I would like to invite you, to also de-mystify the mantra "love the other as you would love your brother", is to be aware of your choice to choose compassion and kindness, in every moment, incl. for yourself.
Here are real mind-blowing examples I encountered in life - and I have been practicing mindfulness (incl. non-judgment), compassion, and open-mindedness for years!
Be aware that our minds are influenced by the world's perceptions outside, and is constantly judging, analyzing (to keep up safe (cough cough)):
My mind was judging a woman as insecure until she told me that all her family had died, so she is currently all by herself.
My mind was judging a girl as too shy until she told me that her brother committed suicide, which changed her life and she is now living her purpose to help other people.
My mind was judging a man as a bit overweight until I learned that he suffered from stress in his marriage, own parents, money, and work.
My mind was judging a girl as unmindful until she told me that her mum died when she was very young.
My mind was judging myself as a failure until I realized what else I have achieved and that this moment is a wake-up moment to finally choose what is really important for me.
We all have these moments and while we should not judge ourselves when we make our judgments - our brain`s function is to judge, analyze, filter - we can always be aware of them and then choose curiosity to learn more about the person, or if this is not possible, to choose compassion without needing to know the story (as our mind / ego so much wishes). By your own actions, you can start seeing through others` outer appearances, and others will see you, too.
"Be kind because you will never know how much the person beside you is suffering."
How easy for you is it to choose compassion, for others and yourself? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I would be very keen to hear your views! :) PS: Subscribe to my Newsletter to stay in touch for any upcoming posts and news :)
This week`s ...
Inspiration: Brandon Stanton - Humans of the World
Reflection: Where do I separate myself from others and where do I see we have something in common, even if is only a small thing?
Intention: After taking a breath, I choose compassion and kindness for the other person, even if the person triggers something in me (as long as the person is not harmful to me).