I was walking last night and got a glimpse into someone else’s living room. It was a girl in her 20’s. She was just picking up. Just living her life. She looked a touch sad.
I got to thinking that maybe a few months ago I wouldn’t have noticed the subtleties. The slouching shoulders. The sigh she let out. The slight curve downward of her mouth. The eyes. A sad story is told through a person’s eyes.
I walked on. Didn’t need to scare the girl. But I thought about her all the way home and something occurred to me. When you are the drunkest guy at the party, you don’t notice anyone else is even tipsy. That holds true if you are drunk with happiness. With sadness. With pain. With anything. In the extremes, you don’t consider looking through someone else’s window…into their lives.
I considered my pain to be so extreme for a while that I didn’t really see any hurt around me. Only in me. While I have a good bit of the mountain left to climb, I don’t consider myself at the bottom of that hole anymore. I’m way up from there. But maybe I would have gotten out sooner if I could have removed myself from my pain, and felt that empathy for someone else. Or if I got a chance to witness real happiness. To really see it for the pure joy that it was, rather than the jaded view which my stained goggles afforded me. I could only feel my own negative emotion.
When was the last time you got a good honest look through the window into someone else’s life? Could be your neighbor. Your work colleague. Your mom. Could be your girlfriend or your spouse. To get views of true happiness. True sadness. True love. True pain. True elation.
When was the last time you felt someone else’s feelings?
Look. Understand. Empathize. Some people have it real hard. Or have it real hard this week. Or in this moment. Realize that pain exists in others. Maybe this helps you see you don’t have it that bad. Or you are not alone.
Look. Understand. Experience. See joy. Live in that moment of the happiness of others. Maybe this reminds you what that tastes like. For what you could have. Maybe it motivates you to stand up. To walk. To fly again.
Then stop looking at others. And take an unbiased look through your own window. What do you see? Be honest with yourself, using that delicate balance of heart and mind. And then you will know what needs to change.
Observe others through their own window. Experience through someone else for a bit. Then observe yourself through yours. React the way you already know you should to make it better.