A friend of mine just posted a great question on Facebook a while ago. (Thanks Shabaritha) It is likely one you’ve been asked before. The first thought that ran through my mind sort of surprised me.
The question? If you could switch places with one person for a day, whom would you chose?
My answer, as posted on her page: Great question! My answer is the the me I’m striving to be. Sort of a test drive so I know I’m heading in the right direction.
My answer had me pondering futher:
Oh it would be interesting to step into someone else’s shoes, but wouldn’t it also be a difficult day? I would likely be thrown into unknown issues, but still handling them in a way natural to me. So would I really be learning anything about myself?
What would I learn? The experience of seeing another person’s life from the outside is completely different than being thrown into it. That may bring some insight to the “grass is always greener” concept. And some empathy would also be felt for any struggles they are facing.
However, I feel discussing and having deep exchanges with that person on how they are tackling their issues would bring me more insight. It would broaden my perspective; make me step outside of how I would have handled their situation. It would give me further information that I can put to future situations within my own life. And the exchange may also allow me to help give them a different perspective they hadn’t considered.
But those are all in answer to the negative situations that they may be finding themselves in. What of the positive things? ~the reason I may perhaps chose to step into their shoes. Is there not often negative held within them we may be unaware of?
If I chose them because they have no money issues, would I be open to seeing the things that are lacking? If it was because they are thin and beautiful would I find that they are treated by others in a way I would find uncomfortable and unacceptable? Or within their physical outer beauty would there be an ugly struggle of physical pain. If they are intelligent, would I find that they are unable to find a reasonable way to communicate feelings thus often finding themselves often misunderstood by others?
How long would I actually enjoy the wonderful things within that day before I become inundated with all the sorrows and disappointments? They are, after all, going to have life treat them just as it treats me. It doles out good, bad, indifferent, the absolute mesmerizing joys to the devastating lows. It is unrealistic to think their life would not be without storms that upheave what they thought was firmly set.
Sure, in a perfect world I could say that the chosen day could only contain positive aspects. And I would feel guilty only living out the good in their life. Would that then leaving them only dealing with their pile of troubles to contend with for the entire day? And wouldn’t I be doing both of us a disservice? I would continue to hold that person’s life in high esteem without knowing the reality of it~ thus losing the empathy that all humans are worthy of. I may begin to think less of my own life in comparison. Setting up a fictional, well-perfected world down to the last nuance doesn’t allow room for growth, deep awareness, or gratefulness. Those are things I cherish.
So, back to my answer; a day with my future self. Now that wouldn’t be my perfect self. That is totally unrealistic. It could be anything from a day now or ten years from now. But to see myself progress and improve with the course I’ve set myself on would be rewarding. And in seeing a positive change, wouldn’t it also encourage me to keep striving? To even raise the bar?
Aren’t we to believe in ourselves and our full potential? To know that we can achieve the things our heart desires; the good in life and others that we would like to attain. Do we have to live through others and not give ourselves an opporunity to place that happiness in our life? We are our only obstacle after all. It is our self-deprication that burdens the action; the moving forward with belief.
Perhaps I should up the ante even further. How about you and I exchange a normal day in each other’s life. But here are the rules: Both good and bad must be taken alongside. We must both enter in as ourselves, but add the other’s perspectives and past experiences. We must be open-minded with no call to judgment. Following said day, we will make a promise to discuss and share the revelations we encounter. Assuredly they will both be of~ourselves, for~ourselves and of and for the other person. They will not be one-sided. The will be mulit-faceted and eye-opening.
I think by raising the stakes, we’ve now expanded our knowledge and harnessed the ability to eradicate a tunnel vision we often are complacent to stay in on a daily basis. I would suffice it to say that we will have found a new vision of life and how we can move better along within in. We would see happiness in ourselves where we never thought possible. And even more rewarding we will find a deeper and more profound connection to one another. And isn’t that the essence of getting through the tough days; having someone’s love, understanding and compassion? It gives us hope, shows us we are important in this world and have much to be thankful for in our life; that we can walk through these days not wishing to be in other’s place but alongside. Then we can ultimately see ourselves as the person whose shoes we want to walk in.