Friday at work, a friend and I stopped to talk a moment. She spoke of her frustration with some things at work and, in mid-sentence, seemed to get awkward and feel badly that she had talked so much to me about it. It is common knowledge that over the last week I’ve had some challenges in my own life and she, knowing this, seemed to feel genuinely bad for having “wasted my time” with talk about her stress.
I made the comment (and I’m paraphrasing) that one’s problems always seem more important at that moment than the problems of others, but I still could make time to listen to hers. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but I feel like her feelings and stresses were just as valid as my own, even if some might look at the nature of the different situations and see one as more or less significant than the other for various reasons.
This rings to a certain truth, I think. Right now, I feel this certain way, and right now, you feel this certain way. My feelings will always be more important to me than yours and yours will always be more important to you than mine. This will be true regardless of the actual nature of either person’s feelings, at least, until we stop seeing them as belonging to any particular self and simply see them as feelings.
Most of us can’t just turn off our feelings like a light bulb, and those of us who can would probably be perceived as cold, heartless jerks. The rest of us can be mindful of the feelings of others even when we are ourselves hurting mentally or physically. This goes for the act of listening to others and to expressing ourselves rightly and unselfishly while dealing with the feelings that are present in our minds throughout the day.
While I am by no means perfect in this regard, I wanted to take the moment a share this thought before I went to bed tonight. Maybe it will provide food for thought for you as it has for me.
I hope you are well and at peace. Much metta, friends.