Everyone is spirit, everyone has a body, everyone is part of the Cosmic Consciousness. Everyone breathes, eats food, interacts with others, and on and on. The similarities are endless yet we get caught on emphasizing our differences. When we see ourselves in others we can be more accepting, understanding and compassionate. Instead of judging, we can be loving.
It requires a strong sense of you, the spirit, to develop this awareness that you are both unique and connected to everyone. Knowing yourself is the first step in spiritual awakening. “I am spirit, I have a body. Everyone is spirit. Wow, this changes everything!” Yes, knowing yourself changes your view of life. “You are spirit and one with all things” sets you on the path to self knowledge.
The fact that we are all one is a difficult concept to see and accept while in a human body since we take bodies to be unique in our creative expressions. Therefore, humans want to divide and categorize everything to help understand life so we do not feel afraid, since we are most afraid of the unknown. As a step on the way to accepting oneness, see your similarities with others.
My favorite opportunity to see my similarities with someone is when I am angry with or in resistance to them. My anger and resistance tell me I am afraid. When I stop and see my fears, I can rise above fear. Often the fear is about being like the other person in a way I do not like. The fear can also come from fear of losing them, which translates to fear of not being able to control them. Fear separates and disturbs while love unites and heals.
A friend of mine is a determined healer and often becomes invasive with her desire to heal. Most of the time I enjoy her enthusiasm but there are times I resist her insistence to change me. Eventually I see that my body is afraid of the invasive energy and what I have within myself that allows her energy to invade. When I become amused I am able to heal myself and not resist her desire to change me. By allowing our similarities, I can heal myself and enjoy my friend.
The main thing I need to learn from my similarities with my friend is that no one can fix, heal or change someone else. My friend and I have this similarity of wanting to heal the world. We both have lessons about allowing everyone to heal in his or her unique way instead of the way we wish. When I accept my friend as she is, I see and accept both of us more.
We are all similar and need to see how much we are alike instead of emphasizing our physical difference. We tend to categorize bodies, behaviors, and characteristics in terms of good and bad and then attempt to be good and judge others as bad. Can we see the likeness or do we emphasize the differences to separate and divide? Can we allow both our unique beauty and our similar experience? Planet Earth offers us the opportunity to have both oneness and uniqueness.
One of my most entertaining experiences of seeing myself in others was many years ago while taking a hike. I was hiking alone to a mountain lake and saw myself in every person I passed. First, I passed a young woman and recognized many similarities: rejoicing in the moment, enjoying health and strength, loving the beauty of Earth. During the hike up, I also passed a couple and a young man. They all reminded me of myself and what I am creating in my life from loneliness to companionship, from fear to love, and all of the many facets of my life. The entire trip was a meditation on my connectedness with others and the Earth and a new understanding of my unique self. The time I spent at the lake and hiking back was spent alone. This allowed the time to be with the Earth and myself and to recenter within my unique universe. By the end of my hike I had a renewed awareness of myself and my oneness with all things.
Everyone can gain a sense of self and an appreciation of our oneness. We are one as spirit in the Cosmic Whole. Our bodies are connected with DNA and similar experience. We are connected both spirit and body. We are all important in our uniqueness so we can fulfill our individual purpose. Each of us has a role to play to make the whole function, like musicians in an orchestra, each needed to create the symphony.
See yourself in everyone and you will learn to know yourself. You are the woman begging on the street, the rich man in the bank, the newlyweds and the widow. You are your unique self and you are one with all things. Rejoice in the duality of oneness and uniqueness and enjoy planet Earth by seeing yourself in everyone.
By Mary Ellen Flora