When I was in high school I went with some friends to Christmas midnight mass. I grew up Methodist so I was unaware of the ritual of passing of the peace. A woman came up to me and took my hand in hers. She said with what felt like so much authenticity and heart, “Peace be with you”. I didn’t know the correct response was “and also with you”.
This simple gesture stayed with me for some time. My idealistic thinking was to envision a world where everyone “passed the peace” to people whom we know and don’t know. More often than not…is judgement.
Part of becoming more mindful is discovering the U turn of awareness. Rather than directing our attention and judgements towards others, it is more helpful and relevant to understand what’s going on within ourselves. Our own thoughts, our own hearts. Not that this is a call for self degradation or lack of boundaries, but only that as we learn how to take care of ourselves and learn self respect, the natural progression will be to extend this respect to others.
Sometimes you may hear yoga teachers say “Keep your eyes on your own mat. It doesn’t matter what’s going on around you”. The call is for training up the “ keeping our eyes on our own mats”.
Next time you notice yourself judging someone else, consider saying to yourself…
“and also with me”.