As the spiritual teacher Mooji says, we all live in the same universe, but in different worlds.
It’s such a relief when you realise that we are all only speaking from our own first-hand experience of life. Nobody has the objective, absolute truth, even it sounds like they do.
When somebody judges you or your actions, getting angry with you or telling you how wrong, misguided or even ‘crazy’ you are, know that they are only speaking out of their own experience. They are reporting back on what they have noticed in their own world, even if they speak as if they have found an unarguable, universal and impersonal truth that applies to all people.
This does not mean that you should stop listening, or reject everything they are saying because it’s “just their story” or it’s “just their subjective opinion”. That would be your story and subjective opinion, and you would be playing the same game.
No, this is a call to unconditional, real-time listening, without a story, without a conclusion.
Knowing that someone is only reporting back on their own experience and cannot have the absolute truth, you are then free to deeply rest in them, unprotected, fully entering into their experience, feeling into them in a spirit of fascination and curiosity rather than a spirit of “I need to win!”. You are a traveller, an explorer, an adventurer into unknown territory… which may turn out to be home after all. Listening deeply to the wave of consciousness that they are, you may end up hearing the ocean.
Listening deeply to one human being is like listening deeply to all of humanity. Great compassion begins here, when we come out of our personal identities and touch the vastness of ourselves.
Of course, you may not agree with everything they say. You may not see things in the same way right now. Maybe you never will. Much of what they say may seem unfamiliar and even strange. How could they think that? Their experience is so different from mine! But remember that as consciousness, you are open to all possibilities, all perspectives, all viewpoints, all waves of the ocean, even if you are not limited to any one of then. You don’t need to agree with the one in front of you, you don’t need to believe their theories – you simply listen without a story, without a history, perhaps even finding the nuggets of truth in what they are saying.
In the end it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing on the level of the story, it’s about meeting beyond that story. It’s about ‘understanding’ each other in the true sense of the word – ‘standing in the midst of’ each other. We stand in the midst of each other, and report on our experiences.
The words and opinions become secondary. It was only ever about the meeting, the connection, the resting in each other.
Assume the one in front of you is human like you. They have laughed and cried, they were borne from a mother, they have deeply doubted themselves, they have lain in bed at night and felt afraid, they have longed for love, they have desired more than anything to be met, just to be met. To be heard, seen, validated. Perhaps they long to connect and do not know how, and this discomfort expresses itself as judgement and unshakeable opinion.
Meet them there, in compassion. Walk a mile in their shoes, as the Native American saying goes, and know that in the end, we all wear the same shoes.