I remember reading a memoir not too long ago, where the author describes a time when she was going running along a river bank and spotted something pink in the grass. Thinking back to her childhood days, she was excited at the prospect that it was Rose Quartz, only to pick it up and realize that it was merely a piece of discarded styrofoam.
When she thought it was Rose Quartz, she felt wonderful and energized with possibility and beauty, but as soon as she discovered it was styrofoam, her experience took a turn in the opposite direction--toward disgust. The object itself didn’t change--only her perception of it did.
We do the same thing with people all the time. We label them, and put them in boxes, and then we only see them through the label we gave them.
She’s a bitch.
He’s a tyrant.
He’s a bully.
She’s a gossip.
He’s a liar.
We judge others in order to protect ourselves from being vulnerable. Our labels keep us safe, and allow our ego to feel good about who we are.
Unfortunately, every time we label someone and put them in a box, it becomes extremely difficult to see them as anything other than that box. And we unknowingly look for further evidence to keep them in that box.
If that box is negative, each time we merely picture that person and their box, we can shudder in response.
And what is the result? Disconnection. We wall them off, and we all ourselves in.
What could be different, if you saw the difficult people that you work with as Rose Quartz rather than styrofoam?
Compassion. Connection. Collaboration.