In the book “Love Without Conditions“, there is a chapter towards the end that is called The Death of the Ego. Here are a few lines that inspire and resonate with me…
People identify with thoughts that they think. If you want to communicate with people, find a way to acknowledge and include their ideas. Then, when you express your own ideas, it will be easier for others to acknowledge them. People will never be able to be together peacefully until their ideas can dwell together without competition. To accept another person’s idea, even when you don’t with it, is to extend to him respect and trust.
Dwelling together in peace requires that you see what links you to others, not what separates you. If you what links you, you will respect your differences. If you see what separates you, you will try to overcome those differences. The attempt to overcome differences invariably fails. That is because differences are healthy. As long as they are respected, they do not interfere with the potential for intimacy and cordial relations between people.
Always give another the space to be different. Then you will not be avoiding intimacy with him. If you feel that you need to become like him to be accepted by him or that he needs to become like you to be accepted by you, you are trying “to overcome” the differences. Just let the differences be. You are acceptable as you are, and so is he. Peace remains in your heart and in his. Everything is fine.
– “Love Without Conditions” by Paul Ferrini, pages 146 – 147
What are some ideas that you have, that you do not share because of fear that others will not accept them? Have you shared them, only to experience people not accepting them and thus felt like they were not accepting you?
Speaking from my own personal experience, I also see how many times, I am not accepting my own ideas within myself. This seems to create a cycle where I live in fear of sharing my ideas, pursuing them, and accepting and including the ideas of others. How do I expect others to accept me and my ideas, when I do not even accept them myself?
When I think about this, it also helps me to see differences in a loving light. What would you say is the usual response to differences? I would say that in our world the response to differences is usually fear. It is okay that fear is there…it means that the opportunity of courage is also there. At times when I am afraid, I practice kindness to myself, rather than beating myself up for being afraid. Then a magical transformation seems to take place and I walk through the fear and see it morph into courage. In this space of courage, differences are shown for what they are…creativeness, magic, uniqueness and self-expressiveness. And we can be together with all of our differences and ideas, without fear and instead with love.