Human interactions

“The reality comes into being through interaction” Emilie Levine 2018

I recently watched a TED talk with Emilie Levine called “How I made friends with reality”. This talk is beautiful in many ways, but this quote moved me the most.

I reflect often about human interactions. I observe how important they are for us, and how difficult they can be at times. I must confess that I am not very good at them in general. I expect too much from the people that are close to me, I am bad at small talk, and patience hasn’t been my strongest skill.

Ever since I was in high school, I have been quite reserved socially. I am friendly, and I actually like to interact with people, but I don’t like to come too close because I know I often end up making a mess. I can maybe say that I don’t trust myself much when it comes to human interactions. I have few close friends, and those that I have, I am so grateful for because I know that they have taken the time to know me, accept and understand my weirdness.

I also work as a teacher, so I am in constant contact with people. My students and my colleagues. As a teacher, I have an idea of what my role is, and of course, everyday, this idea is challenged by my students. It is getting better, but I also feel I use a lot of energy avoiding getting into negative situations with my students.

I can honestly say that part of my dedication in the study and practice of yoga is with the intention of improving my way to interact with others because it came to a point where I understood that the change needed to come from me. I have spent too much energy being frustrated, sad, angry and then regretting because of the gap between my perception of things and reality.

I liked this quote particularly good because I feel that it is so true. We create our reality by interacting with the world around us, not only with other humans but with everything that surrounds us. This is a powerful quote because it means that we can always choose what kind of reality we want to create by interacting with others.

It is not always that easy because most of us are used to the idea that we need to get something in return for what we give. When we have the impression that we only give, we get frustrated or loose interest.

In Spanish we have a say cada cabeza es un mundo: “Every head is a world” or “There is a whole world in each head”, and I believe this is true. What if we keep this in mind when we interact with others? We don’t know what kind of impressions they have in their minds, we don’t know what their expectations are, nor do we know how they perceive the world.

One of the most known and general definitions of yoga is that it is a science for self-liberation. In addition different traditions can have different definitions. I recently read a definition that I think is very nice to apply in our interactions with others: “Yoga is to create space”. I believe this was said in the context of pranayama, but if we think about the basic principles of yoga: detachment and practice, space is an important aspect too.

I have been wondering a lot lately, am I able to live in love? Can I, at every situation, choose to interact from a selfless space? Can I, give space to the people around me to be and at the same time allow myself to be too? I must confess that it seems quite difficult to achieve, but I think it is worth a try. Not only in my close relationships but everywhere. 

If we create reality by interacting with others, wouldn’t we want to create a reality where we all thrive? Are we able to show unconditional understanding, compassion give each other space to grow? Can we meet others with humbleness? Nobody’s perfect, and nobody will ever be perfect in this world, but we need each other.

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