What would happen if we could always give everyone the benefit of the doubt, even after they screwed up? What would happen if we could always believe that everyone around us is doing the very best they can at any given moment, just as we, ourselves, are doing? Imagine the possibilities...
These questions arose in my mind because I was thinking about wholeheartedness and human connections and what it might mean if one could truly feel and, more importantly, LIVE seamlessly connected with our brethren on this earth. From my experience, you can feel something, but the next step is really believing it, and the final step is living it. Living it means putting your beliefs into action, incorporating them into everything you do and how you behave toward others.
Over the past five years, I've realized my need for human connection, and luckily have satisfied that need over the past year. I've nurtured many new, deeply rewarding friendships because of my awakening. And I have so much more joy and feel more truly human because these dear friends are part of my life.
But I have to ask myself: Where the concept of human connection is concerned, am I truly LIVING it? No, I don't think so. I think I can do better. To do so is scary, because it would mean extending my circle of friends to include everyone on the earth. And it would mean being vulnerable, the most frightening thing of all. The unknown risks of that, alone, frighten most into complacency. It would mean embracing all of humankind as my brothers and sisters of the earth, including the ones who hurt me or hurt others, including criminals. It would mean forgiving them without hesitation, just as we should forgive ourselves.
The whole concept of human connection means recognizing that we, as human beings, are in this together, that we share the same basic needs and desires, that we all want to be loved and accepted and respected, that we are all flawed and make mistakes and do the best that we can in any given moment based on a complex set of genetic, social and environmental factors.
I started to think about this concept, really living it, and why it scared me so much. What is the obstacle for me, personally? I really don't know for sure. But perhaps partly, it is fear of trusting (myself as well as others), of believing that everything will be okay if I open my heart without reservation to everyone. It should be so easy, especially when you realize that most of us have already felt the connection. Even I, in my most anti-social, most independent moments, have felt that seamless connection. I reflected upon that euphoria that rises within me every time I stand and watch a parade. It's not the parade that does it; it's the crowd around me, the common pleasure I am sharing with complete strangers. I felt that same joyful connection when David and I cheered from the sidelines at the Boston Marathon. It was amazing, this high rise of joy I felt in my heart, and I knew it wasn't due to the race we were watching but the other spectators we shared it with.
It finally donned on me why people love football and other sporting events so much or why they continue to wait in traffic to attend a live music concert. I always thought it was crazy to stand in line for hours to buy a ticket, then hours more to get into the stadium when you can easily watch the game at home or buy the CD and listen to the music with acoustic perfection. And why they pay $50 to $100 a ticket to stand in a thick crowd high up in the stands with a tiny view of the action or show. It's about the sharing. They want to feel the joy of human connection around them.
I'm still learning and evolving. I'm still asking the same questions and only guessing the answers. But I think I'm getting closer to that ultimate realization, that epiphany moment when I stop asking and just say, Yes! Yes!
I want to live a wholehearted life. I want to not only feel, but believe and to not only believe but live in a seamless connection with others. Up until now, I've only had momentary glimpses and tiny tastes of what that kind of life could be. Perhaps it would be like a never-ending parade that never ceased to amaze. How euphoric life would be if we could all just let go of the expectations and fear and judgment and shame, not only of ourselves but everyone else? If we could wholeheartedly live and trust and love ourselves as much as others, and love others as much as ourselves.
Imagine the possibilities.