"How strange!" I thought to myself but I knew I could use their company for the rest of the day. Jeremy was in a lot of pain but they wanted to make it just a bit farther that day too. And I like to think I came there to join them with a new portion of energy to make it through.
No interaction is ever one sided. We meet people because they can give us something we need at that time just as much they need something we have and can share with them. And that happens without us being aware of it.
And sometimes we need more of their company and teaching and that's why we come back to them!
Camino Called Life
I went out with friends this weekend and noticed one thing. Meeting another person brings out different reaction in everyone. What someone may find insulting, the other won't even notice. What one person says may be translated differently even if they all use the same language. What other person does might just as well go unnoticed despite the importance of the act. What happens inside of those involved in the meeting? And why is that reaction so different sometimes?
When I was walking the Camino, I always started a day with a prayer asking for my heart to be open, aware, able to notice and understand what I need to understand and what the other person needs to communicate, with or without words. And I keep praying the same prayer since then.
There is more to communication than words and more to meeting another than communication.
Rudolf Steiner talks about how we can approach and meet another so that both can grow and benefit from the meeting. He explains the difference between sympathy, antipathy, and empathy. And it is more than liking or disliking another person.
Sympathy as Steiner explains is letting ourselves "fall asleep" in order to allow the other cross the boundaries. It blurs what we perceive as a separation but also our self-awareness.
Antipathy lies in recognizing those boundaries, the separation, and brings the possibility of self-awareness, understanding of the self as well as sense of freedom.
One is about "loosing oneself" while the other is "closing off from the outer world".
"In meetings between people there is a constant oscillation between sympathy and antipathy which is almost beyond our control. It is perhaps as little under our control as our breathing process. We "sleep into the other" and reawaken to ourselves in rapid succession and alteration." Rudolf Steiner
Empathy lies in between - in our willingness to fall asleep just enough for the other to reach towards us but giving them a gift of meeting us as we are and with what we have to offer.
"empathy is almost a non-power - the non-power of the consciousness-soul. It is the outcome of the meditative path - the way leading into the landscape of the other person, into his sanctuary....." Rudolf Steiner
Communion is always a blessing. Its taste may differ from person to person but it always carries the power and potential to enrich those involved in it.
“True communication is communion- the realization of oneness, which is love.” Eckhart Tolle