I Want Global Warming

Instead of freezing each other out, why don’t we warm each other up?

Imagine every single person you meet on the street, at work, or in line for a coffee wants love, companionship, and understanding.

What do you want?
I don’t know a single person who isn’t trying to find their soul mate, missing their family, or wishing they could hug a friend.

When we think about the definition of empathy, we’re reminded that trying to put yourself in the shoes of another evokes warmth, familiarity, and a sense of togetherness.

Let’s take the time to envision the life or mindset of another person. So many details that we might not think of, because our experience of living is radically different than theirs.

I can speak from experience that getting wrapped up in my own inner drama makes it difficult to muster the energy imagining another person’s experience. Imagine if we had the capacity to do so - what peace and love on this planet we’d achieve. It’s hard to stop ourselves from within the constant hustle to take a moment before we judge others. If we nurture our curiosity in people around us perhaps our priorities will change and we won’t skim over being open to the lived experience of others.

A common mistake we can make is believing that how we act, and what we want, should be the desires of others. So much pain and suffering come from casting your belief system on someone else. A good rule of thumb that I’ve used is stopping myself in the middle of these thoughts and assume what I believe may be totally wrong. Perhaps it’s derived from the conditioning that I’ve been fed since a child and I’m not even aware of it. Assuming there could be some wiggle room in our opinion gives us the opportunity to relax our rigidity of thought.

I’m often flabbergasted when I sit down to think about why I believe what I believe. My environment growing up pushed me in one direction or another. If we weren’t given the opportunity to have our opinions validated or respected, we may lose the energy to keep the autonomy of our spirits. It can be easier to relent and go the way of what the adults around you are teaching. Through no fault of our own we were guided into systems of perception, and might have been punished if going against the grain.

I often imagine that if this was done to me, the chances are high that most humans around me have dealt with this too.

I can see how many of us who are just now questioning our influences are finding that we’re operating from a learned childhood mindset, which ingrained ideas of ourselves deeply. We cling so hard to these learned notions to the detriment of our ability to accept other people’s beautiful differences.

These childhood lessons often create a veil of safety and security in a world that always seems to be falling apart; clinging to them with lion-like ferocity. We don’t have to look far to see how this blows up in our faces and causes great amounts of pain, sorrow, and war. Whole generations of people have been decimated because of this inability to feel uncomfortable and question our internal world.

We have to allow other people to be different than us.

If we truly hate the fact that we are divided, then we have to be willing to warm to other people. We have to put ourselves in conversation with different types of people and LISTEN.
It may hurt a lot.
It might make us very uneasy.
We may realize that we’ve been living our lives from a point of view that is really harmful to others, and ourselves.
Doing the vulnerable work gives us the opportunity to loosen our mental grip and let our hearts soften. To embrace our connective superpowers.

Let’s dedicate now to approaching life as a constant student. Let’s ask ourselves what we can learn today, what new interactions we can experience, how we can release a rigid way or two. Flow with life instead of at it. When we practice approaching other people from a place of warmth to their uniqueness, we’re able to act warmly towards ourselves. Couldn’t self-love be a beautiful by-product?

I know this may seem like a dangerous and slippery slope. It takes courage to release because it feels like what you believe to be absolutely true is keeping your life together. You might think that insisting others think or act the way you do is the answer to life’s problems. Unfortunately, a small dip into history shows us this just isn’t true.

It’s interesting that we seem to embrace differences in other avenues of existence, and it’s a sure sign that we have the capability to do so. We walk through botanical gardens marveling at all the different varieties of flowers. We’ll watch a dog show with many-faceted attributes of each breed, noting how special they are. We appreciate the four seasons as they flow, giving us varied temperatures, sunlight, and opportunities for activities and holidays.
Yet, when we deal with each other, also beings of nature, we find ourselves feeling that we must all be the same in appearance, thoughts, and habits.

We have all experienced varying degrees of trauma, which causes us to create protective defenses, but we can start simply one step at a time. We can choose ourselves, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, and build ourselves up to the people with whom we disagree the most.

Practice warmth.
Practice it so much that our homes warm.
Our neighborhoods are warmer.
Our city warmest.
Our country and the earth so hot we melt with acceptance.
Let global warming begin.

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Image: Patricio Betteo on Deviantart

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