As I mentioned last week, I recently attended and spoke at the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies conference. It was like a little bit of heaven on earth! Physicists, neuroscientists, mystics, dream interpreters, filmmakers, and Near Death Experiencers all shared their perspectives on life, healing, and consciousness.
Some approached the subject with detailed scientific studies, others with healing demonstrations, and still others with heart-touching stories of their time in heaven. Everyone was so respectful, kind, and loving to one another, even when there were differences of opinions. Speakers and attendees mingled freely and attended each others’ workshops. It was another “home” away from “home.”
I found myself thinking, “If only we could all learn and share from one another so respectfully, this world would be amazing.” Professional grown men – scientists, doctors, and former lawyers – stood up front, getting teary eyed as they talked about their love for humanity, their NDEs, and their emerging understandings of consciousness. Instead of feeling self conscious, they bared their hearts. Instead of the audience judging, they were touched. It was so profoundly beautiful. We did dream interpretation exercises, talked about simultaneous parallel realities, no space/no time, kundalini, healing, everything is one, surrender, and so much more.
Can you imagine a world where we are free to be who we are without fear of exposing our hearts and our own beliefs? A world where we can listen to one another, accept one another and simply choose to take in what feels right and what does not? A world where diversity of opinions are celebrated and we find the common ground? It would be heaven.
Here are a few pointers to help you embrace other’s perspectives whether they agree or not.
1. Instead of listening to someone and automatically judging them right or wrong, good or bad, seek to understand.
It is the brain’s job as a finely tuned computer to compare and contrast every bit of information we take in, with everything we’ve ever learned. In a way we’re wired to sort things out according to what we know.
Rather than judging we can simply say to ourselves. “Hm, that’s different from what I think I know. Let me listen to see if I can learn anything. That’s not how I think. I wonder why they think that way.” Or if you absolutely can’t stand the perspective, then simply say to yourself, “Not for me.”
Many of you have heard this story. I once wrote a woman who ran a hate site aimed at a celebrity I liked. I asked her why and told her I was just curious. Instead of being mad at her and judging her horrible, it felt better to inquire. She said she started it as a joke and now felt trapped by all its members. I felt compassion for her inability to stand up for what she now believed in. Clearly she, like all of us, was just growing.
2. Rather than needing to agree, acknowledge the other’s perspective
You can simply say, “I see why you feel that way” or “I understand now.” You don’t have to agree or disagree with anyone. You just have to own your own thoughts and feelings, and allow others to have theirs. In doing so you can acknowledge another person’s perspective, without having to change your own.
For example, years ago a dear one in my life, felt I should engage in Bible study. I love the Bible. I love all spiritual books. However, because I talk to angels, and have been in heaven, I didn’t feel the need for further intellectual study. He argued and tried to get me to agree. At first I tried to justify and explain myself but then realized that it was no more my place to change him, than it was his to change me. Ultimately we chose to acknowledge that each had found a path to God that worked in our own lives. We are now able to respect each others’ service to the world in spite of differing beliefs.
If a person can’t allow you to be, then there’s no need to argue. Remain silent, or as the Bible says, “Don’t cast your pearls before swine.” There is no need to share your heart with those who can’t see its value.
3. Rather than getting upset about others’ perspectives, see them as the classroom in which they are growing.
You know what works in your life. Likewise, others know what works in theirs, or, if their lives are not working, they are actually choosing beliefs and habits that give them what they need to grow.
I’ll never forget a few decades ago. Someone I loved was sick. “I was nearly beside myself. “I can help you! I can do Reiki on you!” I begged them to let me “heal” them. Their answer taught me volumes, “I’m sick because I need rest. Please let me sleep.” Pushing our own “helpful” ideas on another is never loving and rarely welcome. We can offer kindly once or twice, then let it go. Every soul knows what they need to grow.
Even those who addict, engage in horrible habits, and even exit the planet in unkind ways, grow from those experiences. I was talking to someone today who is very spiritual and kind soul. He remembers a past life as a soldier in a very vicious army. He has learned from the perspectives of his past life, and is now a beautiful peace-loving soul. Eventually love wins.
I know this is a touchy topic. It IS a human challenge not to get saddened or angered when we hear others’ perspectives that we vehemently disagree with.
Yet we can only achieve spiritual freedom when we understand that everyone is exactly where they need to be, believing what they need to believe, working whether they know it or not, to grow back to love… including us.
May freedom live in your heart this week – the freedom to be who you are, believe as you believe, and allow others to do the same.