Today on my morning walk, it occurred to me that EVERYONE has been through something intense. Something difficult. A divorce, a death in the family, abuse, bankruptcy, heartbreak, dreams smashed, homelessness, loneliness, depression…
Hardship comes in many flavors. NO ONE escapes the intensity of life. The only difference is in the type and degree of hardship.
“What Hardships They’ve Gone Through!”
As I continued my walk, I saw two Hispanic women entering a house with a vacuum cleaner and supplies. I thought, “Oh my, what hardships those two women have been through…” – not because they were cleaning someone’s house, but simply because they’re alive. My compassion for them flowed out of me and the older of the two looked up. Our eyes locked for a long moment and the most warm smile was shared between us.
I passed a man walking by with his eyes down, and a frown on his face. I guessed he was lost in a Mind Loop. “Oh my, what hardships that man has been through…” I know what Mind Loops feel like, and I really felt for him.
I saw a teller from the neighborhood bank and I remembered that yesterday that bank was robbed. She most likely had been there as the man waved a gun around, threatening all of their lives. “Oh my!” I thought. “What hardship that woman went through…” I decided I’d bring flowers to the tellers today.
Finally, I passed a woman coming out of a coffee shop just as I was entering. She had a pleasant expression on her face and she kindly held the door for me. Still, I thought, “Oh my, what hardship that woman has been through…”
A person doesn’t have to exhibit pain for us to know they’ve been through pain. After all, you wouldn’t look at me and think, “Wow, I bet she went through a terrifying near-death-experience!” – nor any of the other things I’ve experienced in my life.
We’ve all been through hardships. We all deserve love, care, and compassion.
The “Secret” Mind Loop People Are Ashamed To Admit
As I work with clients, I keep hearing about a “secret” behavior people engage in more often than you’d imagine. It’s a common Mind Loop that people feel ashamed to reveal: An automatic dislike of strangers.
Sometimes it has to do with comparison and envy. We wish we had what that other person appears to have – good looks, wealth, a great relationship, happiness – so we dislike them and find something nasty to judge them about.
Other times it’s a feeling of disgust, or mistrust. The person is dirty, or acting “weird,” or any number of prejudices that people innately feel based on how the person looks.
I’m sure there are many other flavors of this “dislike of strangers” phenomena.
These thoughts are a type of negative Mind Loop. Most people aren’t even aware they’re having these thoughts – until they start putting conscious effort into “detecting” them (which is the first “D” of my “9 D’s of De-Looping” process).
What about you? Do you ever catch yourself secretly disliking, envying or judging strangers too?
Perhaps this goes back to old tribal behavior: “Don’t trust anyone from outside your tribe. They’re our enemy and are therefore dangerous.”
Whatever the source of this behavior, the problem with it now is that these thoughts keep you locked in thoughts and emotions of envy, judgment, loneliness, even depression.
Changing this automatic Mind Loop on the other hand, opens your heart, and increases your compassion, tolerance, and love – for others and for yourself.
Bottom line? Removing this Mind Loop makes life SO much more enjoyable!
Plus here’s an added special BONUS:
Numerous studies have been conducted on how people can feel others’ energy and emotions. We think we’re hiding our feelings, but believe me, we’re not as cunning as we think. So when you shift the way you feel and react toward a stranger, they’ll sense it – and that means YOU’LL be actively generating more happiness in this world!
Want a quick method to stop these automatic Mind Loops about strangers?
TRY THIS EXPERIMENT:
When you pass someone on the street – or have any type of encounter with a stranger – think one of these two things:
“What hardships that person must have been through…” (triggers compassion)
And/or any version of this same basic statement:
• “Bless him/her.”
• “I send you good energy / love / kindness.”
• “I wish you all the best!”
You’ll start feeling a shift in YOURSELF as you shift your thoughts about OTHERS. Especially if you’re feeling lonely or depressed yourself – or are suffering from any Mind Loops that are lowering your self-esteem or confidence.
Wishing you a connected and joyful week!