In ordinary – taken for granted every day living – we assume that each of us is in charge of our lives: what I think, what I say, what I do, what I do not say, what I do not do…
In ordinary living we tend to be light on ourselves and heavy on others. We judge our behaviour and the outcomes we generate by our intentions. Yet we do not give others the same benefit: we judge them solely by the outcomes they generate. We let ourselves off the hook and cast stones at others – through our thinking, through our words and through our actions.
Some of us do not differentiate: we are equally harsh on ourselves as we are on others. Some of us are masters of another game: condemning, criticising, blaming others and later spending time feeling guilty and being withdrawn: our loved ones pay the price twice – first when we criticise them and attach their human dignity and second when we withdraw from them rather than put balm on their wounds – the wounds we inflicted.
Over the last few weeks, here and there I have been at my worst. I verbally attacked one of my sons and later forgive myself as I was not feeling well. Yet, I have not rested as I know that there is no excuse for what I did. I did what I did because I was imposing my view of the world on the situation at hand and my son’s role in that situation. He just wasn’t playing the role that I expected him to play. And he was wasting my time. There it is: my time is valuable and how dare he waste my time!
The ExtraOrdinary path is right here in front of me, of you, of us. It simply involves changing our worldview, living into the following:
- Each of us is being run 24/7 by our operating system – the operating system that we have inherited through our genes, our culture, our environment, our upbringing;
- Each of us is doing the best that it is capable of doing at every moment;
- Each of us is best able to develop and modify the operating system that runs us through mindfulness (meditation, time out, reflection) and through connection with our fellow human beings;
- Our fellow human beings can best help us to upgrade our operating system by being strictly gentle with us – consistently sharing with us in a gentle manner the impact of our actions on their lives