Saturday, January 17, 2009

More or Less

According to my mom, my grandmother wasn't embarrassed in women's changing rooms because she figured, "They don't have anything I don't have, just more or less of it." This always made total sense to me, and in fact made me less shy when trying on new clothes or getting dressed at the gym.

It struck me the other day that my grandmother's concept also scales up. Everyone has a body -- they come in different shapes, but we all have circulatory systems, internal organs, senses, and the impulse toward healing. Everyone has emotions -- some of us know how to put words to them, some of us get overwhelmed by them, some of us have locked them away, but we've all experienced them. Everyone has talents -- whatever one's passion, career, hobby, interest, or passing curiosity, each of us has a strength, even if it's just being the only You of your kind.

Everyone has the capacity to do good as well as the capacity to increase suffering. Everyone has a unique combination of nature and nurture that has brought us to this point in time. We all have what everyone else has -- just more or less of it. It's a profound blueprint for fostering compassion.

In a flash, I saw the concept at work within myself as well. Over the course of my life, I've always been smart, kind, and funny -- just more or less of it. I've carried fear -- just more or less of it. I've felt connected and I've felt lonely -- just more or less of it. I've expressed my true nature -- just more or less of it.

Despite everything I've gone through, I've never really lost anything. My essence remains intact within the ebb and flow of time and circumstance. Whatever may happen in any given moment, I'm never less than whole -- and never more grateful to know it.

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