There was a short period in my life where I felt detached, small, different, and somewhat superior to others. The beliefs I held justified my actions and created separateness in my life. They limited my ability to connect with others, shrinking the world around me.
When we attach ourselves to a set of beliefs, we, intentionally or unintentionally, separate ourselves from others. We believe we are different, that our beliefs are more true or real. This loneliness leads to pain, the pain leading to anger or fear, causing us to negatively react to others.
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine recently about all the amazing people in our lives; our role models, mentors, and others who have opened our minds and hearts. In my mind’s’ eye I envisioned a maze. Usually mazes have only one entrance and exit, but the maze I envisioned had several. I could see as we are born we pass through the ‘Start Here’ entrance. With every choice, we take a turn. With each turn, we expose ourselves to new people, situations, and beliefs. And through our journey we change our life and the lives of others around us.
During the conversation with my friend, I explained my vision of our interconnected world. I said, ‘Isn’t it amazing how each of us comes into this world on a different path, but here we are, moving toward the same ultimate goal of peace and happiness for all’. She turned to me, with a confused and somewhat doubtful look on her face and replied, ‘Yes, but there is only one exit, and that’s through Jesus Christ’. As she ended her sentence, I felt her words divide my heart in two. The separation I felt was not the loving kindness I experienced just moments before. Her words made me feel as if I was an outcast, that my beliefs were sub par, my soul somehow unworthy.
Although this belief hit me like a bag of bricks, I knew it wasn’t true, it couldn’t be. I have stood with the the kind souls in my vision, feet in the soil, connected to all beings, past and future. I feel each living beings’ contribution every time I step into a grocery store, school building, or neighborhood park.
Letting go of our limiting beliefs, the separation which creates pain and fear, allows us to experience the world fully each and every day. We see past others’ ego and can embrace them as fellow beings, beings on a journey. Although we are not all on the same journey, our paths intersect at times, exposing us to new ideas and opportunities. As we move toward our ultimate goal of peace and happiness for all, we see ourselves as one.
*Photo from maysaperterson.me