October Practice: Just Like Me

This practice was developed for the Fetzer Institute by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, directors of Spirituality & Practice.

To ponder
Resentments, disagreements, and estrangements hurt all parties because they reinforce feelings of separation. Infusing empathy into our thinking reconnects us with others and helps us to see each other as fallible, vulnerable, and worthy of love.

To try
Often we can't forgive someone until we can see the situation from their point of view. A good practice to encourage this kind of perspective shift is "Just Like Me." Whenever you find yourself making an assessment of another person, whether you are saying something critical or something complimentary, right after you think or say it, add the statement "just like me." For example, "My partner is so stubborn, just like me." "My friend holds too many grudges, just like me." While you are claiming negative qualities, also claim positive ones. For example, "My friend is so generous with her time, just like me." "He is so creative, just like me." This activity can help you see that we are all imperfect and make mistakes.