Good relationships require that we show up as our best self.
For a while Nasrudin worried about each little mistake he had made in his life. Sometimes he would fret out loud over some minor characteristic flaw he had noticed in himself. His wife tried to console him. “Don’t worry so much. After all, nobody’s perfect.” Nasrudin smiled and shook his head, “Ah, but I’m so close.”
Nasrudin, a self-proclaimed philosopher and fool, was not known for having a humble heart. Yet he believed that no one was better at humility than he was. We can probably never learn humility at Nasrudin’s feet. Except, maybe we are not so different from him and need to laugh at our own outrageousness.
What do you hold onto as your best or worst trait? How much pride or energy do you invest in your story?
Are you continually measuring your worth or value against other people?
How many times a day are you discourteous?
How often do you judge others in small ways, even when it is only in your mind?
Humility, patience, compassion, and sincerity are compelling and generous characteristics that we want to cultivate. They dismantle our arrogance, inferiority, and self-focus, and transform our humanness into a truly beautiful presence. Then we can offer our best selves in every moment.
Sometimes this process of unmasking and being our real selves feels so difficult, as if someone is pulling off our skin and leaving us barefaced. Granted, it is a transparent, naked way to live. However, without our masks and pretense, everyone, including us, is more comfortable and at ease. It is a relief to stop struggling in relationships.
Our honesty and caring pave the way, making it easier for other people to be their best selves, to live from their hearts.
Excerpted from Chocolate or Lunch