I was recently in New York City walking down the street with my son and my ex husband. We were on our way to lunch when we saw a woman holding a baby in one arm and the baby stroller in the other arm as she chased after another woman screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs. As you can imagine, most people on the street stopped to stare at her, wondering what the scene was going to turn into. I stopped too, very concerned about the baby in her arms and knowing that someone needed to help them. The incident travelled down the street as the one woman continued to walk away and this woman continued to scream. Fortunately, a police officer got involved rather quickly and so my family and I continued on our way to lunch.
As we walked away, my son asked me what had happened and why the woman was screaming that way. I responded to him that I wasn’t exactly sure but that our job was to send her love and light, because anyone behaving that way, especially with a child in their arms, had to be in a great deal of pain. I explained that when we are experiencing such sadness and pain, it is possible to do things that we wouldn’t normally do, things that may seem crazy. More than anything, this lady needed our love and our light to help her through the dark space she was presently in.
This experience started me thinking about the many high profile people that have done “crazy” things that we as the public have viewed. Most recently, we have witnessed Miley Cyrus showcase behaviors that most of us cannot understand. In the past, we have watched Brittney Spears, Tom Cruise, and Lyndsey Lohan, to name a few, “lose it” right before our very eyes. Just as with this incident I witnessed in the street, we can’t help but stop and take notice, wondering what these scenes will turn into. What behaviors they will display next.
More than simply watching though, most of us make judgments. We impose our own beliefs and standards on how people behave and then we cast our opinions upon them. When you read the newspapers and tabloids, it is clear that there is an undertone of poking fun and ridicule. Those we previously loved and looked up to become the bud of our jokes and a way for us to indirectly feel better about ourselves. We assert that we would never behave so horribly or stupidly, question what is wrong with “these people,” and discount that there could be any sane reason for their outbursts. Energetically, we close our hearts to them, holding back all that is good, holding back the very thing they need to help them through.
In our darkest moments, what we all need is love. What we all need is support. We are all connected as human beings, energetically connected at each and every moment. We feel one another before we speak, we feel one another before we make contact. We can feel when we are alone, cut off from the hearts of others, just as we can feel when we are supported and being held in the hearts of others. Think about this. Think about how powerful the love and light from others was in getting you through your dark times. It is the same for us all.
I write this as a challenge for each of us to set an intention to resist the tendency to look at others with judgment when we do not understand them. To instead, hold others in our hearts with compassion, knowing that we do not understand their pain. We have not walked in their shoes, we simply cannot know. Yes, they may be behaving in a way that we do not understand, a way that scares us, a way that seems crazy, but ridiculing them and energetically closing our hearts does not help anyone. Instead, face these moments with love and compassion. Instead of watching and snickering, send compassion. Send a prayer. As I told my son, it is our job to send love and light because anyone behaving in such a way must be experiencing a great deal of pain.
In every single moment, we can each make a choice to be a part of the light that brings others up or the darkness that pulls them down. In every single moment, that choice is up to us.