We can heal the world by realizing our interconnectedness
By TARA MANIAR
What would the world be like if we truly believed and lived the concept of oneness? This idea of oneness is ancient. In the Sanatan Dharma philosophy – more commonly known as Hinduism – it is known as Aham brahmasmi, which can be translated to “I am part of the universe.” The universe is the macrocosm and the individual is the microcosm. Whatever is in the universe is present in me and whatever is in me, is part of the universe. Thus, whatever is in me is in you, and you are an expression of me.
A number of years ago, Pujya Swami Chidanandji, my spiritual master, demonstrated this concept when I expressed my desire to be like him. His response was, “You are like me.” He was telling me that whatever is in him, is also in me and we are parts of the universal being. At the time, I did not understand how I could be like him. It is difficult to understand and live this concept when we have been taught that we are separate from the divine, each other and the universe. As a life coach, individuals come to me for guidance to discover their true and authentic self. So, in a sense, they believe they are also separate from themselves.
Living in oneness when in difficult relationships
Neale Donald Walsh, author of Conversations with God, says that in difficult relationships, we should remember that the other person is an expression of self. To awaken compassion and to understand the other, we must remember times when we behaved in a similar manner ourselves. What caused us to behave this way? How did we wish to be treated? Most of us would have wanted the other person to acknowledge, understand and have patience with us, so we could be heard. By bringing this awareness to the present, we can relate empathetically in difficult relationships.
An analogy to help understand the concept of oneness is the body. The hand is a part of the body, yet different from the heart which is different from the lips. Each part has a special role and responsibility. All the different parts of the body are interconnected and support each other to make up the whole body. Similarly, each one of us has a special role and responsibility towards the universal whole. It is our sacred duty to discover and live our special role or purpose. We must also recognize the interconnectedness of all and give support to others so the universal macrocosm can be well and healthy.
When one part of the body is hurting, it impacts the whole body. When one individual is hurting, the universal macrocosm hurts. When one leg hurts, the other leg takes on the extra responsibility as we heal the hurting leg. So, too, when one individual is hurting, those of us who are healthy need to help them heal.
When someone hurts us, it’s a sign they are hurting, too, and expressing hurt by lashing out at us. We need to take a moment to ask what is hurting them so much that they need to hurt us in order to feel better. Depending on the relationship, we may choose not to ask the other person directly, but just asking it to ourselves reminds us that their behaviour may be coming from a place of pain. This awareness accesses our compassion, patience and understanding. We are then better able to accept the moment for what it is, without judgment. We can now respond from our best selves. It is no longer a difficult situation, just someone who is hurting and needs an opportunity to heal.
Being our best selves in each moment is all that is asked of us. When every one of us continually lives from our best selves, we can heal all relationships, thus healing the planet.
Living from our best self when we are hurting
It is our responsibility to heal ourselves when we are aware of the pain and hurt, and there are a number of ways we can do this. Explore those options that resonate with you. If you need assistance, contact me and I will try to guide you.
What if you are not consciously aware of the pain and hurt in your heart? Notice your behaviour. Are you relating with others from a place of love, understanding, acceptance and compassion? Or from anger, jealousy, fear and frustration? If you are relating from the latter, these are indications you are not living from your best self.
To begin the process of healing, start your day by connecting to your breath and setting your intention for how you want to live. During the day, remind yourself of your intention, especially when you feel the not-so-good self surfacing. If you have time, sit with that part of you and listen to what it has to say. You may ask permission to sit with it or you may want to invite it to share its story with you. If you do not have time to sit with it, acknowledge it and let it know you are aware of its presence. When you have time, listen to it and allow it to heal.
This universal and eternal truth of oneness is present in the ancient indigenous cultures of India, Africa and the Americas. However, it is yet to become mainstream Western thinking. For this concept of oneness to become alive, we need everyone to step into active consciousness and take action. We need to ask ourselves if our thoughts, feelings, inner energy, words and actions are having a positive or negative impact in this present moment. Do we relate to others – even those who are behaving in ways we do not appreciate or expect – with frustration, anger and dishonesty or with love, compassion, respect and integrity? Are we contributing positively or negatively to our collective consciousness? Each of us holds a piece of the puzzle on the path to global peace and harmony. I am putting out a call to action to live in oneness, for one and for all.
Tara Maniar is a teacher and practitioner of traditional yoga, a certified Chakaradance™ Facilitator and a spiritual life coach. Tara empowers strong women to transform their inner turmoil into enlightened possibilities. She strives to live in humble service to humanity and Guruji. Visit her online at taramaniar.com.