“It is only in our minds that we are separate from the rest of the world.” ~ Gay Luce …
Throughout much of our journey through life, the majority of us consider ourselves to be separate from others in the world. As children, our worlds seem to revolve around us and we tend to imagine a vast and daunting distance between ourselves and other individuals. But this perceived hollow separates us in spirit from our kindred souls and keeps us alone. Fortunately, as we journey into adulthood, many of us have come to realize that this distance was merely a figment of our imaginations–although some of us still hold onto that belief out of fear comfort, or perhaps simply because that is all we know. <!–more–>
Of course, our independence and selfhood are important and valuable things to have and to exhibit in moderation–we do not want to become dependent on others or rely on external stimuli to live our lives. Yet if we take it too far–ignoring the needs of our fellow man, avoiding others or asking for help, or neglecting our duty of becoming a true and vital part of the communities in which we function each day–we prevent ourselves from fulfilling our purpose and our calling and relegate ourselves to lives that are incomplete. Those who seem to do well socially are the ones who do not see the separation, who feel the kinship with their fellow human beings.
By recognizing our kinship with our fellow man, we supply ourselves with compassion, empathy, love, and kindness for one another. And there, in the fellowship of our brothers and sisters, it is apparent that our souls are in communion with one another. We all are on similar journeys in this world. We face the same physical and emotional ailments, go through similar problems and issues, and encounter the same highs and lows in life. We are all human–composed of flesh, blood, and spirit, and we all have great and unlimited potential that is only waiting for us to recognize it and develop it. But that potential will remain undeveloped if we see ourselves as separate from the rest of humanity, for many of the secrets of our souls need the touch of others–individuals who can see us objectively and help us with genuine sincerity–to be unlocked and set free.
No man is an island. Every single life here on Earth is intertwined with the lives of others–those in our homes, our parishes, our communities, our nations, and our world. And in recognizing and living this truth in our lives, and allowing ourselves to both give and receive back from those who touch our lives, we develop unity and strengthen the bounds that exist between us and refine ourselves into the people that we were meant to be.
Get off the bench and be an active player in the lives of those around you.
Questions to consider:
What are some of the things that cause us to feel separation rather than unity?
How much of our separation from others is a matter of perspective and how much is reality?
What kinds of things might we do to foster a sense of unity in our own lives and in the lives that we touch?
For further thought:
“When I speak about attention, I mean literally, “How much attention can we pay to ourselves?” As children, sometimes we cannot hold our attention for more than a couple of seconds. Over the years we are able to attend to more and more. Yet, we’re seldom schooled to hold life in respect, to enlarge our ability to love, take care of, and be respectfully connected with all things around us.” ~ Brooke Medicine Eagle