I see you

I listened to an interesting dharma talk by Gil Fronsdal yesterday, on how we define ourselves and other people.

I wouldn’t consider myself judgemental ordinarily, but it made me realise that I too am guilty of seeing people through the labels I have defined them by.

My Mum comes to mind.  I realised I always see her through the filter of “mum”.  But she is a person in her own right.  She was her own person – an individual – before she had me.  And she continued to be her own person after I was born.

It’s easy to see people through filters.  By their sex.  Or occupation.

Or even by a previous encounter we have had with them – either pleasant or unpleasant.

Perhaps we see them as “angry”, or “emotional”, based on that encounter.

However no person can be defined by one label.

Even yourself.

You are the sum of everyone you have ever met.  Every experience you have ever had.  Your hopes, dreams and intentions.

Today’s practice:

Pick a prominent person in your life.

Spend some time reflecting – what “labels” have you defined them by?

How else can you see them?  How many ways can you describe them?


define nothing. Not beauty, not patriotism. I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be.
Bob Dylan 


About istopforsuffering

A page created to help spread love and kindness and positivity. Dedicated to making this world a better place, and making a difference in people's lives.

5 responses to “I see you

  1. An act is judge-able, not a human.

  2. I’ve spent many hours…even days….pondering the way we (or at least “I” ) use role labels and adjectives in our thoughts about ourselves and others… they are so limiting and defining…and I think those limitations are unfortunate. I’m trying really hard to become more aware of when I’m using them and to realize they refer to only one relative aspect of a person…and not to generalize to a broader view of a person. I spent many hours…actually “arguing”… trying to get my friend Jampa (the Buddhist monk) and husband Peter to accept my own view of limiting using those types of terms (labels and adjectives)…but oddly enough they didn’t agree… perhaps they keep those words more in perspective than I do… (they both got to enhance their practices of “patience” as they listened to my persistent perspectives….)

  3. I do that, and this exercise is the best one can do in order to reach forgiveness!

  4. 🙂 I just love that you could even apply the filter of “mum” or “mom” – but realize that she is a person in her own right – very mindful. Great post.

  5. brendamarroy

    I love this Megan. I remember the point in my life where I began to relate to my mother as another woman instead of just as my mother. It totally changed my relationship with her because I was then seeing her as a friend and another woman instead of needing her to be my mother.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: