Earlier this week I read “Only Love is Real” by Brian Weiss. It is a book about soul mates being reunited through many lifetimes. But to me it also contains lots of fundamental truths about the ways of the universe. It was the second or third time I had read the book and each time I come away with more understanding. What stood out for me this time was the analogy he used of the universe being a tree and all of us being leaves on that tree. We have a closer connection to the leaves on the same twig as us than the leaves on the next twig and so on. Ultimately we are still connected to the leaf that is furthest away from us because we are of the same tree or being.
This concept of interconnectedness has many implications. The main one for me is if we are not separate beings, then what each of us does affects all of us. If we hurt someone, we are hurting ourselves because we are one and the same.
Reading the analogy of the tree helped make this concept really clear for me. But I think I always knew I was not separate from everyone else. I remember from a very young age consciously deciding not to retaliate when my younger sister physically attacked me. I had already come to realise that if I did hit, pinch or bite her back, she would cry and when she cried I felt that pain as if it was mine. I didn’t understand why I felt like this and in later years I actually considered it a weakness. Now I know I was this way because of my extremely high empathy levels. I had been born connected to the rest of the world, but did not have the understanding of what that meant.
Once you come to this realisation it changes how you view all your interpersonal relationships. They are no longer interpersonal, but intra-personal because we are all of one entity. All our relationships with those that we used to perceive as “others” are actually relationships with ourselves. To love others we have to love ourselves and by showing ourselves compassion, we are showing others that compassion. One cannot exist without the other. To find beauty outside of ourselves, we have to view the beauty within. You cannot give to others what you cannot give to yourself.
When we can accept ourselves for all that we are and love ourselves to the fullest capability of our hearts we will find there is no need for poverty or war or any other action that causes harm to others.