We're each on our own path; we each traverse an individual journey.
As much as we strive to connect with and understand others, our experience is unique, crafted by our perceptions and beliefs... mostly happening at the unconscious level.
To relate to others we must constantly aspire to drop those modifiers... and listen. So often we are waiting to respond, rather than actually tuning in and absorbing. Starting fresh and curious about what they've chosen to share.
It helps to remind yourself that your experience is truly your own - we cannot walk in another's shoes; we cannot travel in another's boat. We don't see their terrain and circumstances, but can honor our own emotions and experiences, and endeavor to see the connections between us and them.
That choice to *try* is the defining action, and allows us to open up. Ask. Engage. While we're each in our own boat we have more in common than not, and when we understand that our perspectives and beliefs differ we find a commonality in compassion. The compassion of not knowing, but caring. The compassion of those emotions and expressions of self that exist behind what our perspectives and beliefs about reality might tell us.
From this place we open into an acceptance beyond logic and reason into pure love.
Coincidentally, after I wrote my last (poem) post I came across a box of old notebooks and journals, many pages of which were filled with poetry from my past. I happened upon a page that caught my attention, and I found the poem resonated with "today" quite well. It inspired the titling of this posting, and though the teenage angst and despair is apparent, I think it speaks to finding our commonality and trying to understand the unique situations of others, so I'm including it as well:
You'd think someone would come out and yell
"this ain't justice, this is jail"
But we all sit in our little boats
an' we drift along
we set sail
Somewhere someone's screaming
while their silence misbehaves
But you have to hand it to them
they're fighting all our waves
back in the beginning
some small prophet raised his hand
while the leaders shared their whispers
can't let the people understand
its got something to do with silence
and the pains creep in my head
something to do with violence
...it's sadness instead
Take a drink of the harmony
it's a sweet symphony
cuz it's all crumbling down baby
Can you swallow the irony?
You'd think someone'd come out and scream
"I can't take it anymore"
Then I remember they can't see
how it all crumbles on the shore