We think we’re separate beings. And in part, we are. We each have a body, that’s true. And those seem to be quite different ones, unique to ourselves with boundaries of skin protecting our bones, muscles, etc., etc. So to look at us, we’re distinct and detached.
But are we?
We breathe oxygen into our lungs, and expel carbon dioxide, which is then converted by plants into more oxygen, and breathed in by someone else. I get tweaked by the notion that I’m breathing in the same air as say, Einstein once did (maybe intellect will rub off!). On a planet such as ours, we can’t get away from the fact that what we do with our air will affect others around the globe.
Round planets work that way.
And although this may seem a loose connection, let’s become even more nebulous with it 🙂
The study of energy fields is hot right now. But it’s been around in various forms for a while. In the 1660s, a Dutch scientist named Christiaan Huygens found that pendulums mounted on the same wall always wound up swinging in perfect synchrony—even when set in motion at different times. He called this entrainment. And now neuroscientists are proving that via mirror-neurons, we empathize with the emotions we see in others. http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2011/march-11/reflections-on-mirror-neurons.html
But rather than just objectively delving into science, let’s focus on the empirical for a bit about how the world makes us feel.
How often have you been around someone and left feeling depleted? Sad, perhaps? Out of sorts? Angry? On the other hand, you know when you leave someone and feel energized, happy, as if you matter.
This has to do not only with the thoughts and actions of the other person, but with the energy surrounding her.
In simple terms—we feel what someone in our sphere feels. We see it, sense it, and it spurs emotions within us.
You know you empathize with folks you care about (at least women do! LOL). When a friend is blue, you want to heighten her mood. When she’s happy, you’re happy.
What we’re finding now is that this is the case with most of the folks we’re around.
So the “other” amongst us matters not only because we care for other human beings, but because her success or failure affects us greatly. When we see someone succeed, we feel a surge. When we see them fail, we feel some semblance of the agony of defeat.
Now and then we all get down. But at those times, another’s story lifts us up. I’ve spoken before about one of my editorial clients who was a 2-pack-a-day smoker, never been athletic, in a difficult life situation, who turned her life around. Entirely. At the beginning of the book, I wondered if she’d survive, much less thrive.
But quickly, and not because she hired me (lol), her journey became intrinsically important to me. I began rooting for her. When she failed her attempt at Everest the first time, my heart sank. When she failed the second, I was sick about it. When on her third attempt she reached the summit, I cried—happy, joyful, jubilant tears.
And whenever I think a mountain is too big, I see her atop that peak. And confidence surges within me.
So yes, your journey matters—to all of us. We succeed when you do. We’re all in this round boat together.
As Deepak Chopra says in The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions in Your Life, “ . . . there is no difference between your breathing and the breathing of the rain forest, between your bloodstream and the world’s rivers, between your bones and the chalk cliffs of Dover.”
So, how has what you’ve done affected another?