2 min read

I see myself...

At the desk, 9:23 a.m (Yes, I've been here not writing for a while.)

"I see myself in others and others in me."

I heard this last night in a meditation from the Chopra Center.

"I see myself in others."

I don't really know when it happened. While I have always had a lot of compassion for people, I didn't always see myself in other people. My tragic horrible story was to unique and I was too separate. (And let's face, I'll never be quite normal.)

I honestly think it was the forgiveness meditation which changed me. I realized that most people didn't hurt me intentionally, they were simply living their lives and I happened to be there. That's as true for the social snub I felt yesterday as it is for any trauma that happened in the past.

I was there. They were to there. Their actions had almost nothing to do with me. I was simply there at the time they acted out.

Now when I see people who are out of control, angry, or simply behaving stupidly, I see their humanity and know the times I've acted out in anger, despair, or simply thoughtlessly. I see myself in others.

"I see others in me."

This is harder for me because I've lived so much of my life as The Stranger

. Are other people like me? Surprisingly, shockingly, yes. In fact, there are a lot of other people like me.

Of course. We are made of the same things. We are created from the same place. We are as unique as we are the same.

"I see myself in other and others in me."

I think that's why I get involved in causes like trying to help girls caught in prostitution. I know that it's only a roll of the dice that I am not like them. I was cast out when I was 17 years old. I was on my own. Without the good fortune to have great friends, I would have had no other way to support myself. And even then, I went without food more than once. I lived in a ramshackle basement that had a river running through it when it rained, mold flowers in the shower, and a toilet that only worked sometimes. With the kindness of strangers, I was able to believed I could do it. I got through college working 50-60 hours a week. I graduated and got jobs. I moved on.

(For the record, the single time I asked my parents for help in the form of $25, my mother gave me a torn sweater. When I asked my father, he flew into a rage and told me in no uncertain terms that I was a leech on this world. I was 18 years old in need of $25 for food.)

But I'll never forget how lucky I was to. There but for the grace of God, I'd have been a child prostitute. I'd never have lived to tell stories. I'd never have lived in Denver. Truth be told, if I was like most girls, I'd have survived a few  years and then disappear without a trace.

I see myself in these girls; and I see them in me.