25 Jul
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All Those “Others”

I’m getting ready for a family vacation next week, in which various siblings, cousins, nieces, grandparents, in-laws, etc. will converge at the house in Wisconsin where my parents live during the summer. In honor of which, I offer these words from Training in Compassion, by Norman Fischer:

“Dealing with others isn’t just dealing with others. We think of it that way, but that’s a mistake. Dealing with others is dealing with ourselves dealing with others. There are no others apart from us, there is no us apart from them. Our problems with others are our problems with ourselves and vice versa….

“Without our understanding that we have been doing this, we have been co-creating with others the conflicts and interpersonal hassles of our lives

“When you keep in mind that your human life and the lives of others are rare and precious, that you and everyone else has to die someday, that no one escapes suffering, and that all of your words and deeds, and even thoughts and feelings, have big impacts on the world–when that is part of what you are aware of when you are aware of conflict with others, things change somewhat. These reflections may take the edge off your hurt or aggression and reframe for you what you are dealing with.”

Not that all family vacations are necessarily an occasion for conflict.

I’m just saying.

(image from: Steampunk Tarot)

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