My job consists almost entirely of working with other human beings.
This is simultaneously awesome and exhausting. Amazing and debilitating.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but it wears on me. I would worry about myself if it didn’t, I want to care about the people I work with.
I often see more in others than they see in themselves and I often want more for them than they want for themselves. I often believe in them more than they believe in themselves.
This is deadly if you hang on to it.
Other people are always a test for us in regards to mindfulness. We have to be aware of the emotions they trigger, the thoughts they bring up, and we have to understand that these things have nothing to do with them, only ourselves.
We have to be aware of our perceptions and biases, and that they have to walk out the choices they make. We cannot do it for them.
I often have to remind myself that the people who do horrible things to other people are also suffering, and that their suffering causes them to bring pain to other people. I try to help people work with pain, and to avoid turning it into suffering.
Mindfulness brings presence, and there is nothing greater that we can offer people.
This presence is truly us, this awareness is real, beyond all the hurts and memories and stories. A mindful life allows us to cultivate it, and to offer it to others.
People are awesome, no matter how much hurt they are buried under, but we have to step away and offer ourselves presence from time to time as well.
Can you do that?
Do you know what it looks like?