See the trail through the trees
Each sunrise is an opportunity to begin a ritual with a lasting impact. Many of us want to experience better relationships and feel less judgement in the world, but change doesn’t suddenly show up one morning, rather it comes from the on-going quality of our behaviour and the action of striving to become a better person each day.
Empathy is the trailmarker
Empathy is what leads you in; it’s what helps you understand someone’s different and sometimes mysterious terrain. One of the most important skills you can have, empathy allows you to connect with and understand other people. Whether in relationships, business, or towards animals; we listen, connect, and grow.
You don’t know what you don’t know
Humans are extremely judgmental by nature. We often feel like we need to fit people into boxes and have an opinion on anything that appears slightly outside the lines of “normal”. The problem is, when you judge without understanding, it’s a dead end. When you can instead, get curious in an effort to understand, you build a bridge.
It’s easy for us to try to impose our own perspective on those around us, believing that our point of view is more important, more insightful, or more enlightened…but who says you are correct? You can’t effectively critique someone’s mountain bike skills if you’re not a rider; and to talk candidly about their line choice is pretty subjective unless you’ve been in their shoes. The same goes for one’s life choices and individual journey…
We’re all diverse individuals trying to make sense of the world around us. Every person you cross paths with in life knows something you don’t know, has had experiences you haven’t experienced, and carries a perspective shaped by their individual life journey. When you understand this, you will uncover beauty you’ve never known. And if you open our heart, anyone, including the people who you find strange and confusing, can be a teacher.
You flow where your focus goes
Judging others is a result of our individual beliefs and misconceptions. If you say hello to another rider who returns with a frown, you are much more likely to attribute the other behavior to his character as being a jerk; rather than believing it is situational, such as that his dog just died, or she lost her job.
When you search for danger you’ll always find it. When you search for differences you’ll always notice them. This is an innate human tendency. If you can learn to capture the essence of another, beyond the danger or difference, you will see things for what they truly are.
A narrow mind is a tool of focus, but it’s not a relationship-nurturer. Forgiveness, compassion, curiosity, communication and deep listening is what can bring you peace and harmony. When you stop judging, you also stop caring about what other people think of you…