There’s one thought I project more than anything else as I travel around the city to others on foot, car, or bike: “get out of my way”. Why does it always feel like everyone else in in MY way? When I’m stuck in traffic it’s not that I’ a part of it, it’s all surrounding me.
Deep down we all wish for others to be happy as well as ourselves. For most of us (though likely not spoken aloud) we think, I must take care of my own happiness before caring about anyone else’s level of joy. There are those who think everyone else’s happiness is more a priority than their own. And while it seems we should clearly be focused upon our happiness first, just like placing your oxygen mask on before assisting your child’s, there is still a problem. If we are always looking to maintain our sense of happiness than we will never get around to thinking of others. Everyone we come in to contact with we will see as a challenge. Will I lose my joy while attending to this person? Are they taking something from me? Do they care for me the way I desire to care for them?
If we are able to, in a moment of attending to our own joy are able to ask; What stands in the way of my joy in this moment? Most likely we find we are longing for someone or something to change. It’s actually quite arbitrary. We have decided someone or something else is in charge of our state of being. We can’t think of it as an all or nothing state. Can we lean into the notion that we can be happy simply because we don’t need things to change to create that state. Unless we let it go, we are unable to give, or to truly love.
“So much of what is love, is fish love.” – Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski