My dog Simha has funny quirks that I just recently realized their origin. When ever we’re in bed, she has to lay adjacent to me, she buries her nose under the covers, and when she wants Love, she stretches out on her back in dutiful submission. I realized all three of these habits are loving memories of puppyhood. She lays adjacent because that’s how puppies line up to nurse and she buries her head to remind her of the pleasant experience of nuzzling mom. The position of being stretched out on her back is how she laid for mama to receive her bath.
She also has habits that aren’t based on loving memories. She’ll give a nasty look if someone stares in her eyes, she’ll flinch if someone holds something near her head. And she refuses go outside if it’s raining. These habits trace memories and experiences that are painful. They also are very ingrained.
In a similar manner, every single aspect of every single person is a compilation of everything they have ever experienced. We all started out at the beginning of existence as pristine atoms of perfection. As soon as we took form, we started to accumulate habits. They may appear as positive traits or negative, but every single one is ingrained from a past experience.
A great technique in dealing with people is to try and imagine the situations that may cause them to react the way they do. All defensiveness, tirades, manipulation and bragging are the individual’s way of using inferior means to express or protect the splendor of the Universal Self.
At the core, stripped of all our defenses, we are all the same. That’s what Namaste means. The Divine in me greets the Divine in you. When we exchange a smile, it is actually our infinite self acknowledging the infinite self it sees in another.
By realizing this, maybe it will be easier to deal with those who are heavy ladened with layers of defenses. Maybe by recognizing their layers, we can strip off some of our own. It’s a great way to learn to greet them with compassion, and even gratitude, instead of taking a reactive stance.