To forget others means to forget how we have defined and labeled them. They are neither who we think they are nor who they think they are. The deepest truth about them is that they are God’s beloved creation, but they don’t know that yet, so they act in any way they think might protect them from the world. We then label them based on those surface actions. In order to become free enough to see others with the eyes of Love, we have to forget them as we have seen them, let go of our need to define and control, and stop judging their value by the yardstick of our own very finite minds.
Compassion can never coexist with judgement because judgement creates distance from the other. It prevents us from being available to people and shrivels our compassion. Compassion is a constant willingness to see and share in the sufferings of others: “Come, be with me in my passion.” We cannot enter sincerely into the trials of others until we have first experienced the power of redemptive love in our own lives. Then, as we learn to embrace our own pain, we become united with the suffering of all humanity. It is in this mystery of co-suffering that hope is hidden.
Solitude allows us the space to become aware of God’s merciful and healing presence with and in us and of who we all truly are minus the veil of the persona we have created to survive in the world. Solitude and silence molds self-righteous people into gentle, caring, humble, and forgiving people. Finally, we become free from all judgements, our whole being fills with God’s compassionate light, and we see what is deepest in another.
When we defend ourselves, define another person or situation, or deny our culpability, we cease to see things as they really are. A situation that we label as terrible is, in reality, to be used in some mysterious way for our good. We might label a woman a snob because she is too beautiful or successful, so we never see her heart. A child might be giving us a difficult time, so we label him ‘a problem child’ and relate to him from that place, never seeing his heart or our part in the problem. That child belongs to God. We need to trust Him to be as creative with our children as He has been with us.
We get so caught up in competing, comparing, and controlling that there is no hope of love. Only those who have confronted their pride and come to humility fully experience harmony in relationship with God, with others, and with self. Such harmony then opens an infinite vastness for others to move about freely in. Remember that love always takes the initiative. Love affirms and honors the dignity of each human soul. Love feels no power or superiority in the humiliation and desecration of another fellow sufferer. Jesus was unjustly condemned by the mob, but He didn’t defend Himself. He kept silent, and His silence enabled a far greater good. Stretched out on the cross, He turned toward the universe with utter forgiveness. “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Page 128 The Hidden Life Awakened