Do I value my freedom if I do not value another’s freedom to choose otherwise?
Have you ever said something like, I would never say that to someone? or I would never do that to someone? Generally, we respond in this way to something someone else has done that we have judged as being thoughtless or shitty.
Sometimes we say it in response to something truly heinous.
And you and I would be in agreement. We would never say that hurtful thing, or we would never do that destructive thing.
It is obvious that you or I would not share the same belief system as a person who would say or do “that thing.” You or I think differently. Obviously, they think otherwise.
However, that person, you, and I have something in common – we all have a belief system. Some are more cooperative and optimistic; some are more contrary and pessimistic. Some are hateful and destructive.
While chewing on this idea, my Constant Traveller offered me an example of true other-wise. My recognition of their foibles is my opportunity to consider other-wise. As in, other wisdom, another perspective on the situation.
Consider, she reasons, that your response may be an ego engagement. Perhaps you are so focused on the idea that, We are One, or that you are more spiritually mature than that other person who sees themselves as separate and angry, that you don’t see yourself as being in agreement with their perspective. If you didn’t see yourself as separate you wouldn’t entertain the idea of separation. You would be one with them. You would see with their eyes, feel with their heart, and hurt with their pain. Can you do that?
Can you accept that on a level unknown to you, you and that person are in agreement?
If you truly wish to be cognitively, emotionally, and energetically mature you will accept their promptings as an opportunity to extend yourself further, as it is an indicator of your limitation, not theirs. Use this knowledge as a prompting to live in the gap between stimulus and response.
You will still “see” and “listen” to others as part of this world’s pact. You are who you are. But you will use this stimulus to understand yourself on a deeper level. This is the practice of accepting other-wise.
Research an alternative perspective through Toltec Wisdom, Ho’oponopono, or A Course In Miracles to more fully understand this thought – you are all in this together.
Understand that you demonstrate your version of freedom every time you deny another theirs. In this web, both of you are held captive.
Do you truly wish to be free? Engage the remedy…
When you see others, gently correct your thoughts – I am you and you are me.