I mean the person you're physically with, who might be at the table next to you, at the next desk, who is on the other end of this phone call, who you're looking at, working with, driving next to, past. Your teacher, your student. Your friend, your lover.
I'm trying to get back into the habit of thinking that everyone I come into contact with is having the worst day ever. Not only that, I used to trick myself into believing that they had the hardest childhood ever, and someone was threatening to sue or kill them. I know that last part was a little dramatic. Only a little.
But it helped me to remember that everyone is scared. And probably a little sad. Or a lot sad, which is not hard to see and know.
I heard once that everything that people do is either motivates by fear or love. That everything is in constant battle between love and fear. You're either walking toward love or fear. And only love can overpower fear. And fear can actually be seen as a lack of love. And fear comes in all shapes and sizes including anxiety, stress, hatred, depression, anger, control, etcetera (basically every negative experience or emotion).
So if you pretend everyone is a scared child, even if they're being an ass to you (out of fear), the only way to help the situation is to love.
How? It's just an outpouring of your energy: a smile, a well-wishing, a silent blessing, a compliment, a loving thought, an observation of any goodness you can see or sense. Or perhaps just attention, just being present with the person, listening.
It's not easy.
Nobody needs to hear this more than me right now. All pregnant and fussy, hot and bothered but not in the good way. For real hot and bothered, as in physically uncomfortable and irritable.
I have to keep remembering what I know. What I feel is right...totally, completely, finally.
Let's all try it. One person in our line of fire at a time. To love, to uplift.
God help us.