I was first introduced to this idea as I timidly began my spiritual quest in the 1970’s.  This concept, along with so many others woven into the many and varied books I was reading, broadened my perspective on how to experience life and the many relationships I seemed to be “inviting along for the ride.”  Becoming a student of myriad spiritual ideas offered me a deeper layer of understanding about every life that was touching mine, an understanding that complimented my early journey in the rooms of AA and Al-Anon.

Interpreting the actions of others, or trying to, had long been my primary focus, even in childhood.  Of course this meant I was never primarily engaged in my own life.  I was an extension of you and your life!  If you were happy, so was I.  If you noticed me, I was relieved and felt important.  If you were mad or sad or distant, I felt responsible and unworthy.  I don’t think I am alone in this way of being and seeing.  I have met too many others who struggle just as I struggled for many years to find a more peaceful, less attached way to live.  Fortunately, we can now be the way showers for each other.  In fact, that’s why we are on a path with so many who are like us in certain ways, people who are moving to a new way of seeing.  We have sought each other out.  Even though we may not have not realized it, that has been the case.

Coming to see that any one’s actions or words are an expression of either love or fear, their love or their fear, and not related in any definable way to me or any one else present, has been a relief and a remarkable awareness, one I am prone to occasionally forget.  There can be no lasting peace in any person’s life if her every mood or action is tied directly to the moods and actions of others.  Even though I speak from personal experience here, I hold that the same dynamic is true for many individuals, many neighboring communities, and even countries at war.

Decisions are made every day based on the misinterpretations of the actions of others.  Knowing this is the first necessary step to perceiving differently.  And perceiving differently opens the door to behaving differently too.  If we are prone to being fearful, our actions will be defensive or aggressive or perhaps we will withdraw.  But we can make another choice.  Having hope that change can happen in one’s own life is the stimulus to knowing that change can happen any where.  As I said many times already, we are the way showers.  It’s not an accident that we are sharing this information at this time.  We have work to do. For the next few days I will be conscious of how fear, my own or another’s, is playing out in our lives.  I will seek signs of love too.  Both expressions are evident every where.  Meeting an expression of fear with understanding or compassion or love, will have an impact that goes far beyond that moment.  There is joy in knowing we have work to do that’s worthy.  One moment at a time.