Seeing Beyond Appearances In the Pause
How often do you judge someone by their appearance? Something happened today that truly woke me up to how much I size people up or down depending on their appearance.
I had no doubt I do this, but today I realized how unhelpful this is because it prevents me from seeing others for who they truly are beyond appearances. Our natural human tendency is to judge one another. We do so first as a survival instinct, then as part of a decision of whether to connect with someone based on if one is attracted to or repelled by someone’s appearance. All this is happening quite beneath the surface of our conscious awareness.
When is the last time you had a realization that a perception you were carrying around was unhelpful, incorrect or just plain narrow-minded? Today, I had a sudden change of mind; I must have Practiced the Pause – all The 4 Decisions – within an instant! Just goes to show how quickly we can have a change of mind; in an instant we can move from an unhelpful state to a helpful state.
Here is what happened. I was getting out of my car and saw a man walking towards my car and he appeared to be disheveled, had a blank stare facial expression and was poking along. I immediately sized him down, even experienced a moment of fear and started walking in the other direction. I didn’t really see him. That is, I didn’t really see his actual physical appearance and I didn’t really see him beyond his physical appearance. I was blinded by my judgment of what I perceived was his appearance. In a flash I must have had a whole string of negative judgments pile up in my mind, but then I instantaneously, without effort, must have practiced The 4 Decisions > Pause, Step Back, Step Aside and Let Inspiration Guide. I got an inner nudge from what I call my Helpful Self, who is my True Self, to turn around and look at that man again.
I followed the guidance of my True Self, turned around and he was not at all the man I thought I saw! Firstly, he was not disheveled, rather he was dressed in a basic shirt and pants and was wearing this orange vest because he worked in the grocery store and was in the parking lot gathering grocery carts!!! In a flash I saw how if he was the same man wearing a suit and tie, I wouldn’t have sized him down, rather I most likely would have sized him up. Yet, he would have been the same man no matter how he was dressed. He would have been the same man no matter what his way of walking.
So, suddenly I saw what I had not seen. Had I seen this man through the eyes of my Helpful Self, I would have seen a different man – I would have seen his Helpful Self, his True Self. Sound too far-fetched? Well, I am going to take it further. How many times a day do we not see someone? The other day I was giving Pause cards and cash to a homeless young girl on the street corner. I looked at her – her face, in her eyes, and though I am not a mother, I felt as if she could have been my daughter. I unexpectedly said to her when extending my hand, “Take care sweetheart.” Through our Helpful Self we recognize our connection to one another. Who do you see?