It occurred to me recently that we could apply the concept of vastness to our relationships with others. We often feel frustrated with people close to us. We get caught up in conflicts with them that we just don't seem to be able to get over. These are often the people in our lives that we try repeatedly to be open with but for some reason we close down and get defensive. We play out the same patterns over and over never seeming to get anywhere. We end up feeling like we have failed somehow or we feel angry that they just won't listen to us. The latter gets us caught in the blame game. Either way we get stuck and bogged down by a lot of wasted energy.
What if, instead, we took the idea of vastness and applied it to these situation and these people. What if when we recognized that we were stuck we thought about how the other person was like the night sky obscured by the clouds. In other words, what if we tried to remember that behind our conflict or our belief that they are stubborn or wrong we could remember that they were still kind to their dog or enthusiastic about their work or patient with someone in pain. What if we could move our clouded vision aside to see them as 3 dimensional human beings instead of what I call the giant cartoon head.
We often forget to see the people closest to us as multidimensional. We feel hurt by them or mad and we shut down. We start to put them through a constricted filter obscuring their good qualities. We focus exclusively on how they have let us down or disappointment us. These are the clouds. Then we believe that they are nothing but these limited things that we have identified. We turn them into a caricature of themselves like the illustrations cartoonist draw of famous people, big giant cartoon heads with little bodies. This is a very painful way to live and it is a lose lose scenario. We all suffer from believing that the clouds are everything.
On the other hand, if we applied the idea of vastness to our relationships we might find that we feel less stuck. Imagine being mid argument and all of a sudden the clouds part and the sun shines through. The truth is this is within our grasp. Of course we would need to practice this process. Perhaps we could start with people who we have minimal conflict with at first. Once we were able to do that there we could move on to those with whom we had moderate conflict and so on.
It is work but we are working anyway, pushing a rock up a hill so to speak, by engaging in the conflictual patterns that keep us stuck. If we take the time to try to move those stubborn clouds out of the way, in other words see the good or vastness in the other person we could leave the conflict behind and get on with something we actually enjoy. Good bye cartoon head, hello vast starry sky!