A few years ago, I read a book called The Buddha Walks Into a Bar by Lordo Rinzler. One of the things he offered a practice which helps me to practice unity in my own life. He suggested that when someone is getting on your nerves, that you remember a time when you were like that. Marc Rosen offered a similar lesson in his book Thanksfor Being a Pain. When I practice remembering that I too have been a pain then it allows me to stand in unity and remember they are being just like me.
When someone is irritating me, I say to myself they are being irritating just like me. I think, “This person is irritating, just like me.” It then makes me remember and stand in unity with all those who have ever been irritating. When I judge someone, albeit a compliment or a criticism, I add just like me to the thought. When I think someone is loving and supportive, I think to myself. “This person is loving and generous, just like me.” Doing so reminds me to practice being in unity with all of myself as well as with others.
It also reminds me to be mindful of when I am judging someone, whether it is critical or complimentary. It prevents me from judging someone, without also judging myself. It challenges me to practice being impeccable with my thoughts and words, which is a part of the first agreement. When I remember that what I am saying about others is also what I am saying about myself, it challenges me to be more impeccable about my own thoughts and words.
Is this always easy, no. There are times I find it easy to be judgmental of others, however, I also remember the teaching, from Matthew 7, which reminds one not to judge others lest ye be judged yourself. This practice, helps me to not only be less judgmental of others, but to also stand in greater unity with others, even when I am reluctant to do so. When I am able to stand in unity with others in those moments, I am also able to stand in greater unity with myself. This week, join me in this just like me practice. Whenever you think something about someone end it with just like me. See what a difference it makes in your life.