Have you ever heard the cliché, “when you point the finger at someone else, you have three fingers pointing back at yourself”? It’s kind of annoying, right? Especially, if it is said in the middle of a disagreement.
Well, I think I’ve found a way to redeem that statement, at least for myself. Here’s the modification. When you make a judgement about someone else replace the three finger image in your head with three little words at the end of whatever your judgement might be, positive or negative; they are: “just like me.”
I wish I had come up with this idea, but I actually heard this phrase from a spiritual teacher named Arjuna Ardagh. Here’s what he has to say,
“Whenever a judgment or evaluationArises within you,Whether positive or negative,Add the three words: “. . . just like me.”You can go ahead and judge another as lazy,But be inclusive with it:He is so lazy, just like me.She is arrogant, just like me.They are incompetent,She is unreliable,He is angry,Just like me.Call back positive judgments in the same way:The Dalai Lama is so wise, just like me.She is so compassionate,He is so strong,Just like me.In this way, call back every judgment to yourselfAnd realize that there is no other out there:It is all you.”
You see, it is my belief (and the belief of many others) that we cannot recognize positive and negative qualities in another, if we do not also possess those qualities within ourselves to some degree. By recognizing that we also possess those same qualities as another, we break the perception of separation between “us and them”, and allow for the ability to reconnect and, ultimately, love another, and ourselves, better.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Leviticus 19:18
Can you imagine the way we might see the world and perceive others if we put this simple tool into practice?
Love and light,