How often do we give others a chance to surprise us?
In our search for seeking loving companionship, we stumble upon that zing of allure that nukes us into a magnetic field of attraction.
How many times do we thoroughly exhume what this feeling is, and who this person is that we’re somehow aligned with?
Instead, do we let those sneaky samskaras (imprints) do damage control by sending us to a pre-determined place of trying to guess what’s going to happen instead of letting the truth unfold?
Our society loves grouping traits and circumstances together to conclude how a person “meets the profile.” On a daily basis, behavioral psychologists, writers, detectives, journalists, lawyers and the media feed us these formidable labels of classifying who people are in their environments.
We meet the hilarious, energetic, fidgety guy with a shining smile and we know he’s the class clown with A.D.D, or the outspoken muscular girl who’s clearly the intense, unrelenting type-A competitor. Add in their social class, education, age, occupation and geographic location and we have a fool-proof prescription for knowing exactly who this person is and the length of how long our attraction to them will last.
But do we really know these people? How often do we give others a chance to surprise us?
For the sake of love we have to slow down, have patience, and open up.
Recently I was on a yoga retreat and I met a charming, handsome, athletic, smart guy. His typecast immediately set in: he’s a player. He’s manipulative. He’s got plenty of girls running after him. His attraction to me is just superficial.
Within a few days, he was already the good-looking popular guy in school who’s attention seeking. Every gregarious appealing man with a wandering eye who I’ve met in bars, hotels, airports, dined, dated or simply chatted with. In addition to my own personal experience, he was that common Hollywood character; “Christian” from Nip/Tuck, “Jacob” in Crazy Stupid Love or “Charlie Harper” in Two and a Half Men.
But this guy told me and tried to show me he was different. He was chivalrous, kind and attentive. Near the end of our trip, he asked me to stay longer and I turned him down because I exceeded the country’s 30-pound luggage limit and smuggled in my thick rot of imprints.
I thought I’d be a moron to believe him. No way! This doesn’t happen. How many times do we meet someone who is different? It’s too risky to consider.
Now at home, safe from making a mistake, I’m sad because upon reflection, I feel there was an opportunity to discover the truth about him and I didn’t take it. My preliminary conclusions intersected nature. Perhaps spending more time with him could have culminated in what I thought, but what if it could have been an amazing, memorable experience with someone who defies a societal perception?
The “fool” in fool-proof is just the ego being protective, not wanting to be vulnerable, to give and not receive, to take a chance and lose, to suffer disappointment from an underlying expectation.
How are we to let love into our lives when we already have our minds made up about who people are?
Instead shouldn’t we be the devoted explorers of satya (truth) and turn off the safety mode of autopilot in what our imprints tell us?
Yoga Sutra 2.30 says, “Yama consists of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-greed.”
When we don’t take the time to recognize others for who they genuinely are it’s judgmental and hurtful to them; it’s decidedly dismissive of their essence. If we’re sincerely practicing ahimsa (non-violence) the quick, snapshot imprints of classifying people has to go. We have to let ourselves explore attraction without expectation, judgment, or a calculation for time.
We should surrender to the adventure if only for the sake of learning. The devil in the deed is it’s a test to the integrity of our core belief system. Do we dare to believe in the gem of individuality and finding out what soul is in that body? What’s really in there?
Perhaps the journey of uncovering the truth won’t have a fairytale ending, but instead it’s a lesson in what we hold in our capacity to be open and willing to excavate. Can we unearth the abundant, amazing potential of humanity?
Jenn Kashiwa is a writer, yogi, and pop-culture enthusiast who enjoys a hearty laugh and a wise life lesson. She’s currently taking herself apart on the blog evolvingyogi.com and can be followed on Twitter at: jennkash
Editor: Edith Lazenby
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