When you're with your partner, spouse, best friend, or child, are you really with them? Or are you with your own image of them?
When you're with your loved ones, are you really seeing their true, authentic self, or are you seeing what your mind drew up about them? When you're angry with them, are you really angry with them, or are you angry with the story your mind tells you about them?
The truth is, most of the people we come into contact with are not the problem. We actually don't hate our coworkers, or resent our spouse, or dislike our children. Rather, we hate what our minds tell us about them.
But, would you rather live with your mind's image of them, or with the real them?
We're constantly conjuring up realities in our minds that aren't true. Why is this? What if we investigated this more? I'm realizing that life is too short to live with my own image I made up of everyone.
What if we could see everyone as they were, in their true nature, perfect in every way?
Everybody, including you, is perfect. Your perception of yourself, or other people, sure as heck isn't perfect, but you are. They are.
They're perfect because they're exactly the way they are, according to all the forces of the universe, just like the moment unfolding in front of you. It's perfect because it couldn't be any other way. To fully understand this moment, or why your child is behaving a certain way, you'd have to go back to the beginning of time.
In other words, life is the perfect result of everything happening exactly as it's happened from the beginning of time, up until this moment. How can we not be in awe of it? It took nearly 13.8 billion years to get here. That's pretty special in and of itself.
And then there's this human. This loving, yet irritating, sometimes inexplicable human in front of you, that you love so dearly, yet have such a hard time with.
Question that. Ask yourself if you're really having a hard time with them. You might realize that it has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with your own thoughts, and the feelings that accompany them.
Perhaps with this realization, you'll experience more equanimity amidst their own chaos and struggles. You're allowed to be there with them and hold their suffering, without having to close your heart. In fact, you can open your heart. You can open it not only to the person in front of you, but also to the nagging story your mind tells you about them. Hold it all as if it were your friend, like a hurting child.
In reality, you're living with a hurting psyche. Care for it. Nurture it. Give it the space it needs to heal, without trying to shut it up or kick it out. Open the door for it and welcome it in. The good, the bad, and the ugly. If you do this, you might just realize that it doesn't want to stay after all. It just needed some space to pass through.
Live with substance!