Who sees all beings in his own Self,
And his own Self in all beings,
Loses all fear.
The Isa Upanishad
I was reading a passage about feeling the intrusion of others in our lives. You know, the feeling of other people coming into our space that makes us uncomfortable. For instance, we may have a brother or sister who is so unlike us that we are are not comfortable hanging out with her or him. Or we may be uncomfortable around animals like dogs or cats or snakes or mice.
How often do we imagine that these things are dangerous, when really, it is just our own discomfort around them? For instance, we fear the mouse might multiply and take over our house. We think the snake might bite us or startle us in fright. The dogs might bite us. The cat might scratch us. Or the sibling might remind us of our former childlike Self, that part of us we wish to forget.
To recognize this discomfort is just half the battle. The rest of the battle comes from identifying what it is about this person or thing that makes us feel intruded upon or annoyed. We need to identify that source, and then find it’s connection to our own Self. What is it that we need to do, when around this person or thing, to keep ourselves safe? We can make a plan, and then let the situation unfold until the intrusion comes forward. We can note the situation more as an observer, as we study the person or thing, until it gets into the position for us to take our plan into action. We can stop and just watch the snake, and if it moves within a certain distance from us, we can step away in another direction. We can tell the owner of the dog or cat of our fears, but allow the animal within a certain distance while we observe the more calmer traits of him or her. We can be with our sibling or acquaintance in a crowd and observe the more posiitive qualities of her or him, and when the intrusion sets in through words or actions, we can remove ourselves from the room.
Each of these animals and people are mirrors of our own Self. We can learn a lot from them through observation. What do we learn about our Self?