WHAT IS – THE SURRENDER PROTOCOL?
THE SURRENDER PROTOCOL:
Is the process, or steps I take to quiet my mind or self-soothe. When I have a difficult time or challenging experience, I apply mindfulness and focus my attention and awareness on the situation at hand. I try to be aware of my thoughts, emotions and physical sensations to help me sort out what is going on in my interior and exterior environments so that I may better serve the moment. There are three components of the TSP. Each one can be applied individually or in combinations, but the best outcome can always be achieved by expressing them in their subsequent order:
PUT IT DOWN, LET IT GO, LET IT BE…
You may have heard these expressions or phrases as a young child, I know I did on many occasions. Actually, they can be applied in any trying situation- from the most innocent event such as picking up a skunk to the most harrowing – such as being held at gunpoint. In either situation, we all want a positive outcome.
PUT IT DOWN – If we look at this expression as permission to release or relinquish anything, be it an object, though, worry, or burden, we are encouraged to put it down. How many of us have been carry around unwanted baggage from our youth, divorce, getting fired or losing our job to the most extreme of life’s trials or tests? Before we can move forward in life we have to just PUT IT DOWN!
Regret, guilt, shame, are all negative emotions that in real time and at the moment may be helpful to know that we have errored. But, they serve no one when they are allowed to morph into emotional states that we live day to day. That is where mindfulness comes into play. When we can get to the point where mindfulness becomes a state, we are better able to see negative thoughts, feelings, or behaviors arise so that we are able to apply THE SURRENDER PROTOCOL.
When we slip into our control drama of victimhood, we can stop and tell ourselves – PUT IT DOWN. And, if our ego begins to justify why we should feel outraged at our circumstances, we move on to the second phase – LET IT GO. Because we all know that craving and desire create suffering, so at that point, we simply chose not to suffer and play the ego’s game. But, if we are so accustomed to getting our way, we must then apply phase three of the protocol – LET IT BE. If need be please add a modifier – FOR HEAVENS SAKE, JUST LET IT BE…
You get the idea. The idea is to catch ourselves before we launch into a behavior, diatribe, and rant, what have you that we can never take back. With the time like any practice, we get better and stronger with the appropriate effort. We miss so many opportunities to enhance our life and likewise as many if not more instances to stop from doing harm – to ourselves, loved ones, our community and our environment. If we were more attentive and aware of what was going on the better off all of us would be.
THE SHADOW SIDE: NONAWARENESS. LOSE YOUR PATIENCE, LOSE YOUR TEMPER, AND LOSE YOUR MIND.
The danger of not paying attention or being aware of your mind, thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the body, is that we can be swept away by engrained, entrenched pathological patterns and behavior. And, before you know it, we are fired from our jobs, divorced from our spouse or disenfranchised from our families.
Life at times is more wrestling than dancing, but it need not be. The only thing that we can truly control is that which goes on within our consciousness. The outside world will do what it will. Do not delude yourself that we have control over other’s thoughts or feelings or actions. All that we can do about what happens out there is the process, evaluate and assess. However, we are more than just our thoughts. Life is not good or bad, only our thinking makes it so.
When you start to LOSE YOUR PATIENCE – PUT IT DOWN, whatever it is, it is not worth it, no matter what you think or feel. Because if you don’t you may LOSE YOUR TEMPER. If it gets that far – just – LET IT GO. Whatever – IT IS, make a mental note and come back to it later when you have more time and reflect on whatever IT IS that provokes such a response.
If you are able to let it go, all the better that you LET IT BE. Because if you are not able to, you will surely LOSE YOUR MIND. I lose it often enough you could lose it for good. If not for a very long time. Also, it will affect your health.
No one wants to be impatient, angry, or out of their mind. But, it happens. Shaken babies, road rage, black Friday shootings and stabbings, mob violence, cussing and swearing and neglect, all happen because we are not self-aware. We allow and indulge that part of ourselves that we feel we cannot control or that we feel needs to be let out of its cage. We are all blessed with a conscience and the ability to know how to serve the moment, but sometimes we allow the moment to slip away. If we do, we cannot get that moment back.
By living a mindful life we can take this beautiful experiment called life and live it to its fullest. Smell those roses, listen to the bluebird, and take the scenic route and look up. We must take our heads out of the hole in the sand, turn down and off that which distracts us from that beautiful baby and breathtaking sunset and be there, wake-up, and tune in to the majesty of this wonderful natural world before us. Time is fleeting.
Enjoy what you can while you can, but you can only do this if you pay attention, be aware, and be mindful of all that is. I wasn’t when I felt a deep sense of melancholy during the change of the seasons. I paid no mind to my mind, and in time and within limited space I lost it. The pain in my body, the pain in my heart, the deep sense of longing and destitution I just let slip my mind. And, I lost it.
I didn’t show up when I needed to and so I was lost. Out of mind and out of my body, I was in denial, I was in pain, and eventually in hell. One in which I could have avoided had I only paid attention. I was focused on not seeing what was going on. Part of me knew something was wrong, but I waited too long and I lost that moment. And my life would never be the same.
IN 1994 I WAS DIAGNOSED – BIPOLAR I / DEPRESSIVE
After I had no job and no place to live I crash-landed at my parents’ house; where I slept for two months. I had hit bottom. When you’re at the top it is so expansive up there. At the extreme opposite of the vertical axis, there is just bottom. There is no place to go, but up.
After many months of talk therapy and medication, I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. For those with myopic ways of seeing everything, especially recovery, there are always tunnels. I was told by my psychiatrist that this brain disorder was manageable. It was like diabetes. I would have it for life but with medication and therapy, I could make it. In the same breath, he also told me that 25% of the people with the same diagnosis commit suicide and succeed at killing their self. Years later my cousin would become one of those who statistically would succeed in committing suicide.
After years of taking the medications, they became worse than the disease. I gained a lot of weight. I was in a fog bank where I could see no light, no tunnel… I was detached from feeling anything. No sex drive, no ambition, I was lost. Less likely to kill me, but lost.
Gone were those deep depressions and those intense flights of mania and creativity where I stayed up for days composing songs, poetry, short stories, novels, drawings. I can’t even put into words the unbounding energy and insight when I walked the razor’s edge of genius and insanity. But, the damage to any future or career, I might have had due to the quixotic flights of fancy had been done. I woke each day and lived it as it was my last. But, I felt alive, especially in the deep depressions. I never thought or could have imagined that anyone could have felt that deeply.
Years earlier in a period of lucidity I volunteered at a psyche ward where I came and played and sang to the patients there. I played at the high and the low functioning wards. I was touched beyond measure when singing in the low functioning ward the patients all of a sudden came alive started singing along and even got up from there catatonic state and started to dance. I knew they were in there, I knew it. I believe later when I struggled with my disorder that that event gave me hope that I could survive and that come what may I would not become a statistic.
With my new found diagnosis and brain chemistry imbalance, I began to find my way. I visited a walk-in club for those with mental illness. Once again I picked up my guitar and sung to the infirmed, but this time I was one of them. It bothered me that they referred to them as CONSUMERS. That really bothered me. To this day I do not know why they are called such an inadequate title.
I also attended a bipolar support group. In attendance were PEOPLE from all walks of life, all sizes and genders. There were parents of children who committed suicide. One lady had a visor that a light on it. There were those who did not bath, the overly sexualized, the rapid talkers, of which I was one, the sleepy ones, the manic ones, the ones who had to be the center of attention and those who hit in the shadows and who did not sit with the rest of us. It was there that I vowed that I would be a success story.
Besides the medication, the talk therapy, looking back now, kept me pinned down like a butterfly under glass. The constant capitulation of the past trying to unearth that which made me this way kept me that way. It wasn’t until I weaned myself off the medication and I stopped talking about the past that I began the long journey to wellness and wholeness. But, this too had its struggles. I would not advise this at all, not without a Drs. Supervision. I plummeted further down and deeper than I had gone before, but I was armed and wiser and I knew the terrain. It was the hero’s quest and the grail I sought was more than I could have dreamed of.
It is the journey that I have decided to document. It is a success story. I have gone through hell to find heaven, or nirvana, the name or title or expression is not important. Except to say that I AM well, whole, and complete and ready to help those who have the same life struggles meet and slay their dragons and return home with the elixir of immortality.
Nothing last forever, even mental illness. That which is imbalanced can be put in balance. Be it brain chemistry, attitude, thinking, feeling, karma – the seeds of action, so that one may live their dharma – Truth.
Life is more wrestling than dancing, but I AM here to tell you – dance, sing, laugh, love and enjoy and serve the moment with an open mind and heart and listen for the siren song of your higher self, the silent witness. The self-same witness that inspired those lower functioning patients to get out of their chairs and dance to the music of my heart, their heart and the possibility of being.
I AM – JEFF TURNBULL.
For years I suffered from depression. Life was a struggle. My worldview was narrow, gray, flat and I felt powerless. My mind was a maelstrom of distorted perceptions and my heart a pin cushion for black thorns of unpleasant experiences and misunderstandings. Besides riding an emotional rollercoaster, my life, or life as I knew it was also a fun house where everything was not as it seemed.
I was not a victim for most, if not all, of my troubles, were due to my total lack of self-awareness and attention to the true cause of my problems. I did not take responsibility for my life. I treated it like it was a sickness and I repeatedly treated the symptoms and sought a cure.
Instead of accepting myself for who and what I was, I looked for where I was broken. I wanted to know how what, who, where and all the detail of why and how I got this way. The Buddha’s parable of the poison arrow explains this perfectly- “Suppose a man is struck by a poisoned arrow and the doctor wishes to take out the arrow immediately. Suppose the man does not want the arrow removed until he knows who shot it, his age, his parents, and why he shot it. What would happen? If he were to wait until all these questions have been answered, the man might die first.” Life is so short. It must not be spent in endless metaphysical speculation that does not bring us any closer to the truth”.
I was a mess. My mind was like mercury; shiny and liquid it seeped into everything and everywhere and could not retain or maintain solid form or continuity. The flights from a very dark hole to the rapturous white light and pure exaltation was exhausting. I’d fly to close to the sun and then plummet headlong into the bottomless pit of despair and desperation.
My mental health suffered and as well the health of my spirit and soul. But, my body also paid the price. The stomach issues, sleep deprivation, headaches, sinus infections, respiratory infections, and muscle pain and joint soreness were all due to the health of my mind, or more specifically my attitude.
I was not present. I was in my head, but out of my mind, and vacant from my physical body. I quite literally was in so much pain that I could not run for my life if I had to. I was a shadow of who I truly was or who I would eventually become.
At some point, I became fascinated with the nature of consciousness. I always had pretty intense dreams. In the dream state, I would fly, swim, walk through walls and travel to far off places. This is long before I knew what an OBE (outer body experience) was.
A friend introduced me to the books of Carlos Castaneda. I read all his books and everything I could get my hands that pertained to shamanism. I practiced shamanism and other forms and ways of altering consciousness, with and without the use of power plants. I took many a voyage in my spirit canoe.
I felt during this period of my life that doors, neural pathways, my heart and other tightly locked recesses of my being were beginning to open, later they would just fly open. My life was beginning to become more expansive and inclusive. The mercury was still trying to find its level, but now it began to rise.
The entire time I was exploring the astral plane of awareness, consciousness, and the natural world, I still struggled with sanity. It seemed the closer I got to the light, the longer and deeper were the shadows. Still living in the last, I began to focus vigilantly on the future. I felt at times like I was being pulled apart, from the inside out.
In time, along with my path, I would encounter the Buddha and his Dharma. I studied his teachings, his story and tried to apply them to my life. His teaching of taking the middle path helped immensely managing my depression. His teaching of mindfulness was completely aligned with what I learned in shamanism – the quieting of the inner dialogue.
The voice in my head had a mind of its own – ego. In time I would become acquainted with Carl Gustav Jung and his work. In his writings on the Archetypes, I found the root of the root, the bud of the bud. The Eternal Youth– Puer Aeternus is a form of Narcissism. Most people think that Narcissists love themselves. But, that is the farthest thing from the truth. It is actually their Self-Loathing that is their true affliction.
It was Marie Louise Von Franz book on the subject – The Puer Aeternus, where I found what I had been searching for all those years. The root cause for my state of being. I had stayed forever young. Young in appearance, at heart and with an unrelenting sense of wonder I wandered through life. Like a laser, this new found revelation shed untold light on what was right under my proverbial nose the entire time. I spent years, massive amounts of intellectual capital, and emotional energy on searching and seeking – what and who I was. Not because I loved myself but just the opposite. Deep down for whatever reason – I detested myself.
I knew what I had to do. Stop seeking answers – Full Stop. Accept myself for who I AM and LOVE myself.
You see the entire time I was studying Buddhism, I was not practicing Buddhism. The teachings of the Buddha are referred to as the – Dharma. Dharma is that which supports or sustains you from within, in essence, your Truth. I needed to live my truth and just be.
I needed to unite my heart and mind and be compassionate with myself. I needed to be more mindful and aware of my interior landscape and let that which does not serve the moment be…
When I did that I was able to achieve peace of mind and tranquility and yes, serenity now and forever. I when I realized what I was able to establish and maintain, I wanted to share this with the world. That is when I deconstructed everything down to three short phrases into a protocol for happy, healthy living.
THE SURRENDER PROTOCOL
PUT IT DOWN, LET IT GO, LET IT BE.
Recite and repeat as needed. Take it from someone who has lost and reclaimed their mind, life is a process and it is all based on choices. Chose to be mindful and self-monitor your thinking, feeling, and attitudes, and chose to be present in the here and now.
I KNOW WHO I AM, NOW WHAT?
THE 180° TURN THAT – CHANGED THE TRAJECTORY OF MY LIFE.
I had finally found a career track where I was making it happen. I knew what I was doing and I was good at it, and I was making pretty good money. The good news right. Well, I was going through a divorce, and we all know that is a difficult time. Especially, for someone who struggles on a good day.
Well, the stress and the travel took its toll. Even though I was taking caring of my responsibilities as a single father and paying my bills. I felt the darkness approaching and I knew that this time it was going to be dark, but I did not want it to be a fade to dark with me doing something terrible – like taking my life. This I could not do, I had brought a life into this world, and this was not even an option. Yet, these thoughts haunted my waking and dreaming existence.
What was I to do? At the time I was in therapy, gestalt therapy to be precise. Where I deconstructed my life. Like taking down a wall a brick at a time, I was tearing down that wall. Little did I know at that time, the reliving my past over and over again, that the therapy just extended my illness and prolonged my healing,
Well, I chose to leave my executive position at a national corporation and go to massage school. Clique right? Well, I did the due diligence and enrollments were down and the industry was growing. Seemed like a good bet. I had received massage therapy for years due to the pain in my back, neck, spine, etc.… I wanted to do something that had meaning and purpose and help people, and at the same time make a living. I did not consider that where I lived in a conservative more rural area that I could not build a clientele to sustain my business. I learned the hard way that most people who get a massage are women and most women want a woman, and the men did not want a man.
Long story short, that expression that everything happens for a reason was very true in this case. I mentioned previously that I was in my head and out of mind while vacant from my body, well here was my chance and the stop on my journey to come down from the lofty heights of fancy and reclaim my true authentic self. The body here I come.
The school was hard. Anatomy and Physiology were life-changing. I am a science nerd and still, I had a hard time grasping a lot of what I was being taught. Well, the academics were just a tip of the iceberg. Going through the divorce and not being touched by anyone in any way in over a two year period created a new set of problems. After the baby was born relations between my wife and me had ceased. So, I had a little touch aversion, to say the least. I launched off the massage table several times. I had trouble giving and receiving massage. But, after I worked through the touch aversion and felt comfortable applying pressure, I found my groove. I think subconsciously I did not want to hurt anyone. I know now that I had a lot of pent-up unexpressed anger and I did not want it to get out, at least not in this context.
The reason for my becoming a certified massage therapist was to work through a difficult time in my life, being challenged by a difficult curriculum, get in touch with myself and others, it gets real when you walk into a classroom and everyone starts taking their clothes off, and the main reason – Ayurveda – the Hindu science of living. More on this later. But, when it is all said and done, this is why I took the 180° turn from the corporate world and entered the holistic world of self-healing.
This newfound world of science, health, and body awareness would lead me back into my body and through the heart of darkness of depression and into the light of self-realization.
CROSS THE THRESHOLD INTO YOUR RIGHT MIND
APPLY THE PRINCIPLES OF SELF-CONTROL
Now that I was back in my body, I needed to get back in my mind right. My mind was so far out in the ether, I needed to reign it back in. I allowed my thinking to stretch the boundaries of abstraction, I wondered if I could ever bring it back down to a reasonable way of viewing the world.
I had persevered through school and was ready to heal the world one body at a time. I knew that things were still not right. But, I got out there and tried to make a go of being a professional massage therapist. I did really well out of the gate then the great recession hit, and flattened out the gains that I had made. I took a series of part-time retail jobs to pay my bills and practiced massage when I could, but building a practice on top of everything else was just too much.
I did not let it get me down and I pushed through. Eventually, I had to sell all my equipment to pay my child support and I took down my shingle as I considered what to do next. I decided to stay in retail and look for opportunities if only someone would give me a chance.
I found a good company and a manager who saw someone who was hungry to do well and do better. I did not get enough hours to take care of my responsibilities and I began to slide back into negative thinking and victimization. Until one day, I stumbled across a book at the library that would open my mind and show me a way out of the dark wood of despair and despondency and into the light of reason, logic and person responsibility.
The book – THE ART OF LIVING. The discourses of Epictetus, an ancient Roman Stoic philosopher. I had studied philosophy before that, but never before had my love of wisdom been so impactful on my life, my thoughts, and the way I interacted with the world. I had always felt that I needed some complex Metaphysical approach filled with complex theories, symbols, and ambiguity.
But, this philosophy was very simple and to the point. It was a handbook or a user’s guide to deal with the world at large but more to the point, our thoughts on the said world. The following are my take on the basic ten tenets or principles or themes in what is more commonly referred to as – THE MANUAL.
- Recognize what is under your control and what isn’t under your control. Don’t worry about what is not under your control.
- Confirm your will to the divine order of the Universe.
- Understand your emotions. Don’t repress or accent all emotions.
- Do the right thing no matter the cost. Never lie or deny, always speak the truth.
- Understand that events are not problematic; rather it’s your thinking that makes them so. Adjust your beliefs and expectations to fit reality.
- Live with compassion and respect for human rights.
- Cultivate right thinking through daily activities like meditation, contemplation, reflecting and journaling.
- Understand the external world is determined, but you have inner freedom to choose your attitude towards there determined events.
- Exercise calmness, humility, discipline, and indifference to pleasure and pain. Be calm in the face of adversity.
- Stop complaining and turn adversity into advantage.
These principles lead me to take control of what I could – my thoughts, my feelings, and my attitude about my thoughts and feelings. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I felt that I could handle challenges and trials as well as my life.
I did not have to take anything personally anymore. When I started being mindful that I was not in control and responsible for the world out there, only the world within, I was able to prioritize how to apply my attention and energies.
With this new mindset, I saw clearly a path to forging a new way to interact with the world. I ceased to cherish my opinions. I began to question my beliefs. And, I released any and all convictions. If the way I saw my place in the world before caused me nothing but sadness and hardship I would have to strengthen my resolve and choose not to take the world personally.
I had crossed the threshold into right thinking and took control of myself as I applied these Stoic principles I began to live a virtuous life in a confused world.
THE PATH TO SELF-MASTERY:
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER.
Now that I was back in my body, and in my right mind, it was time to get control of my emotions. My health was better. I was able to apply reason and logic and focus on what was in my control. I was breaking new ground. Yet, I was still very sentimental and fragile when it came to my emotions.
Being introverted and a creative type, I tended to be a tad bit emotional about certain things. I had processed the divorce and major life changes and adjusted the best I could. I was able to handle pretty much anything that life would present; good, bad, or indifferent, I had a handle on things.
However, I had the most tenderness when it came to my daughter. She was my North Star, I did everything for her. When I thought of her I felt enormous guilt for not being more accessible. But that too was beyond my control. The economics of the situation required that I stay at my parent’s house. The cost of having my own place was not financially viable.
So, emotionally I lived in my story. The martyred single father struggling to take care of his paternal responsibilities. Oh, the drama… It took me a while to get my thinking right on that matter, but the emotional component took a bit longer. It took right thinking to direct my heart to the precise way to see and feel about the situation.
Instead of looking and feeling that I had a large amount of money that I had to pay every month or a big bill. I looked at it like a blessing. For that is what it is. I am blessed with the most amazing daughter any parent, any man, could have. I realized that I was putting my so-called stuff on her. She was not a bill that comes due every month. She was my responsibility, period. I needed to stop feeling like it was a trial or test, or that I was such a good father. I needed to put that ego, poor me thinking aside, I needed to feel authentically about what it means to be a parent. Four feet away or four hours away, I was her dad, I was there for her. Even if that meant a phone call away, I was still just a heartbeat away.
I eventually realized to do that and act in the appropriate manner meant I had to try to FEEL NOT FEELING. I did not need to feel everything that I thought or think about every feeling. If I was living an authentic value and virtue driven life I did not need to constantly analyze everything I thought, felt or experienced. I understood that kept me in time, pinned down and shackled to and in a frozen way of existing. I needed to soften my way of interacting with the world, within and without.
I started to be mindful of and gentle with myself. I could be reflexive without being critical and began to practice DIVINE INDIFFERENCE.
By quieting my mind, occupying my physical form, and stilling my emotions I was better equipped to accept life as it is. I could meditate more meaningfully. I could focus on tasks at hand and not be swept away by uncontrollable emotional tides. I was evolving. I was becoming more present and fully engaged with the moment and with people and with myself. I no longer felt concern for material objects or gains, I was ok with who I was, where I was and what I was. I was a conscious being evolving. I felt lighter and untethered to the social constructs that once had me immersed in my own short-sighted way of seeing, thinking and feeling. My heart was as light as a feather. I lived deeper, laughed harder and was at one and at peace with the all of existence.
How we feel depends on how we think. If we change our way of thinking- our attitude we can change the direction of our life. We can chart a course to the epicenter of our true self and the true self of all others. The deeper we go within ourselves, the closer we come to everyone else.
True freedom is liberation from our ego and the limiting self-believes we tell ourselves. Don’t believe everything you think, or indulge everything you feel and be still and know the difference.
UNCONDITIONAL HAPPINESS, AND WELL BEING.
How can we achieve UNCONDITIONAL HAPPINESS, easily do not put any time constraints or attach any WHAT IF’S and any IF ONLY’S or any other conditions, choose to be happy, period?
Happiness is not contingent on stuff or things. Happiness is a feeling, but it can be a state. Like meditation or mindfulness, it is and takes practice. We need to be happy with where we are, what we are doing, and with what we have and who we are with. If we walk alone, be Happy with that too. If we are not where we want to be, change and be happy while we change.
We can get caught in a downpour and get completely wet by the rain, but we are not the rain. Our inner state does not need to be colored by our surroundings and or conditions.
Sadness is not the opposite of Happiness, it is sadness. Can we be Happy whilst we are sad? Yes, it is called gratitude. When we realize that we have many things that we can be Happy for, we can smile through the rain, without becoming the rain.
If we are able to maintain a state of Happiness, we all would be better off. We all want to be good beings. And Happiness would afford our WELL BEING. To be well in body, mind, heart, and spirit is a state known as INNER PEACE, and who wouldn’t want that?
To achieve the state of INNER PEACE takes practice as well. We need to practice not being judgmental. We all incessantly judge everything that passes and enters our awareness. We don’t like what somebody says, wears, looks behaves, and smells, etc.… We have thin skin and are easily offended. Someone drifts through a stop sign and we are fit to be tied. We all think we have the right of way. But, there is no way we can always be right. That is ego and ego will always take our side. Put that shit down, let it go, let it be.
CEASE TO CHERISH YOUR OPINIONS, QUESTION YOUR BELIEFS, AND RELEASE YOUR CONVICTIONS. Exercise DIVINE INDIFFERENCE. Don’t take a side. Stop interpreting your experience and making judgments. Has that worked for you up until NOW?
We cannot achieve INNER PEACE, UNCONDITIONAL HAPPINESS or WELL BEING if we are always at war with our thoughts, conditions, or circumstances. We just cannot.
To serve the moment we must surrender to the moment and clear our thoughts and open our hearts and our eyes and be present. If not we continue to wrestle with life. Life need not be a constant tug of war with what we think it should be. It just is.
Peace is not the absence of war. Peace is love. Peace is contentment. Peace is wonder and abandon. Let go.
Be here now, Be still, and more than anything, Just Be!
SEEING THE OTHER AS ENEMY IN AN US VERSUS THEM
EGOCENTRIC CULTURE CREATES DERISION AND SEPARATION
AND BREEDS FEAR AND CONTEMPT.
When we see another person as the OTHER we see them as the enemy. When, in fact, our own thoughts are actually the enemy; the enemy within. When we can accept them as an extension of our self then we can value their input, good, bad or indifferent.
This involves reason and a certain degree of integral thinking. We are all in this together, and if we can’t accept this fact then you, we, us, are in this world alone.
Self-inflicted anxiety is pointless, but we all do it, some more than most. Dreading the future is futile, but fearing another – THE OTHER is calamitous, for it will get us nowhere, as individuals and as a race.
Why not take the opportunity when confronted by and with someone you don’t know to learn something. Novelty creates new events and experiences and moments to grow and evolve. Instead of dismissing someone on appearance or because they have an accent, be mindful approaching them and perhaps your life might change on the spot. Spontaneously. You might even have an awakening and move beyond your judgments and prejudices.
Put down your baggage. I know it is hard. A lifetime of engrained thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and convictions, is hard to dissolve away on the spot. But, when we meet someone new we need to clear the slate and start with a beginners mind and a child’s sense of wonder. Then and only then may we be able to open our hearts and minds and receive what we are meant too.
We are divided politically, on religious lines, by what sports teams we cheer for, music genres, that we listen too, movies we go see, television shows we watch, management and labor, and countless other US VERSUS THEM scenarios.
Whenever we put ourselves first we marginalize someone else. Everyone we meet is struggling with something we don’t know about, has something to teach us, and his thoughts and feelings, and something to contribute.
There are a U and me in UNITY. If we can stand united and express our HUMANITY then we can collaborate on creating an INTEGRATED DESTINY for each and ALL of US.
So when you come in contact with someone you do not KNOW do not see them as a threat, see them a family member, a friend, as your Mother or Father and smile and greet them with HUMILITY.
Let them be. If they show you who they are, believe them. If they show you that they are not who they profess to be, let them be. We are all worthy, however, if they show you that they are not living in a kind equally loving place, let them be. If you need to cross the street, smile, and wave and let them go and leave them, so be it. Given a chance people will show you who they are. Who they are not your concern. What you can be is. Be a BELIEVER, in HUMANITY and the potential in each and every one of US.