While I was standing in the local tool shop today, I shared with the lovely men working there that I needed help fixing some things in my house. I started talking to the man next to me and he offered to help me. Just two minutes later we were in my house, sharing time and chatting about life while he was drilling holes in my wall to hang a mirror. At some point he shared that he was surprised that he was telling all these things about his personal life to a stranger.
I had to go back to the shop to borrow an electric screwdriver and when I got back, I shared with him that his words had stayed with me.
“You know what,” I said, “For me there is no such thing as strangers. I want to be open and be myself with everybody, even if I have just met them. I don’t feel there should be a difference. If there is then I ask myself, and feel, what I am projecting onto that other person that I am not being as open with.”
I pondered on this a little bit more during my day.
Why do we see people as strangers and what kind of effect does this have on our ability to connect with each other? Even the word ‘stranger’ carries a distance in it, where it feels strange, or even odd, that I could not allow myself to be fully open with that person, just because I have never met them before.
When we meet somebody for the first time, at times we have this tendency to hold back, to be reserved, maybe to judge the other by his or her appearance, how he/she acts or behaves and how he/she responds to us. Do we protect ourselves because we don’t know the other person? For me as a woman, I might hold back with a man that I have never met before and who is in my house, helping me hang up my mirror on the wall.
I chose to not hold back because it felt lovely to have this man in my house. Does this mean that I would invite anybody into my house? No, it doesn’t, because that wouldn’t be honouring of myself. The thing is I felt a connection and trust with the man at the shop from the first moment I met him and therefore I did not see him as a stranger.
For me there is no such thing as strangers, as we are all connected. Everybody is equal, regardless of where we come from, what we do, or the way we look. We are all one and the same within, each one of us, with unique qualities and talents. We all make different choices, yes, and we may live a thousand miles apart, but to me we are all one big family.
Knowing this, with every person I meet I can make the choice to meet them as loved family members or if I do hold back and find myself judging or thinking that I cannot say this or that or be this or that, then I know that I have allowed in the false idea of the stranger, the idea that I have to be different with certain people and that I cannot be open and loving with those that I meet for the first time.
It feels very freeing to be in life like this and to share myself and my love with everyone.
Now my mirror and paintings are hanging on the wall and it feels wonderful. Not only because they are finally hanging, but also because I was open to connecting and had invited someone into my home who helped me a great deal with something I could never have done on my own.
Taking the ‘old’ belief of the ‘stranger’ out of my life more and more, allows me to be more open, spontaneous, joyful and deeply connected with everybody and this feels great. I am now connecting more to all of humanity – I see the whole of humanity as my family! GREAT!
Every day I meet new people, chat with somebody on the street, in a shop, in the gym, at work or in the tram, say hello to people in the park, make eye contact, ask the supermarket assistant how she is doing, ask my neighbour for support when needed, give a compliment to somebody or start a conversation. I feel more connected with all those around me, close by and far away.
This blog is inspired by Universal Medicine and all those gorgeous people out there in the world that I meet every day.
By Mariette Reineke, Holland
The simplicity of true intimacy
Heaven’s Joy – Deep Connection
A Feeling of Connection
I’ve often noticed this- the equality and the connection with others where ‘strangers’ feel like close friends, when travelling, but now I have this feeling more often in my day to day, too. At work, on the train, in shops.. every moment holds the potential for connection, and the depth of that depends on how connected we’re feeling with ourselves.
Absolutely agree, every moment holds the potential for connection, and ‘the depth of that depends on how connected we’re feeling with ourselves.’
In and with love there are no strangers. We can however be strangers to love, and in this disconnection we have lost sense of our inter-connectivity we innately share with each other and the awareness of the truth that at our core we are all one and the same, unified by the love we are in essence.
I had a beautiful role model in my father as to the fact that there is ‘no such as strangers” for wherever we went it wouldn’t take long before he was talking to someone that I didn’t know and it usually turned out that up to that moment he didn’t know them either. He had such an easy and affable way about him and from treating everyone as an equal the reflection he shone to others always had them smiling in a very short space of time. It was so inspiring to see and to feel and so it naturally became a normal in my life too.
Mariette I enjoyed reading about you and your life in your bio – very cute! Great to read about your ability to let people in, to view everyone as family and be your same open self with all. It’s a simple way to be because we don’t change ourselves at all, but allow the same openness with everyone and share ourselves in full.
I totally know what you are talking about Mariette, when you meet someone and you have an instant connection with them. In the past I would have said I have it stronger with some people and not with others. I have come to realise that this is not actually true. I feel the connection with the person, looking past what they present to me and actually looking behind to see the true beauty that is equal to all those around us.
Since attending Universal Medicine presentations and workshops I am much less protected and now chat with lots of ‘strangers’. I was in London last week and had to take a taxi. Chatting with the cab driver we arrived eventually at what I thought was the house number on the correct road, but it wasn’t -(my mistake.) Luckily the road I needed was only a few streets away and he offered to take me there without charge. He hadn’t wanted to leave me at the wrong place as I was nearly late for an appointment. I felt very grateful and of course gave a large tip, which he said he didn’t want…… Connecting with people is not only fun but can be very useful!!
I love the simple hello that comes with eye contact with another person, in that moment so much is exchanged, there is a warmth joy and a knowingness that we are part of each other as one humanity.
Sometimes meeting with strangers can make my day, when we meet someone new we are seeing another reflection of God.
When we are open, this then gets reflected back to us by how people relate to us. Recently, I was on the tube, and five people unrelated to each other got on and off the tube after having started a conversation with me. It was amazing to have this occur because people don’t speak on the tube as a rule. It’s a very unnatural environment and it feels like the level of humanities checking out is amplified in those moments. You cannot help but notice.
A great marker for me of being open is do I allow myself eye contact with another. Not a staring competition but if I look my customers in the eyes or people I pass on the street it tells me where I am open and/or not.
Thank you Mariette, that is very inspirational. To feel that you as you openly meet everyone as your equal brother and sister. I love that. I am going to pay attention to this in my life.
When we see another in equalness and offer them this, our movements af fears and beliefs fall by the wayside.
When I read this, the words ‘stranger/danger’ came to mind and I don’t know if this was a campaign in Europe but it certainly was (and is) in Australia. It is designed for children to be wary of strangers, really aimed at those that do harm to them. Now I can totally understand the intention behind these campaigns, but imagine a campaign like you have shared here Mariette. One where we stay open to ‘strangers’ and are ourselves with, and from there we can feel what is right/true/safe and what is not. From here, we are taught to discern in every moment as to what feels right/safe for us, as you say you would not have let anyone into your house but there was an openness and trust with that man.
That would indeed be a wonderful campaign and a reflection for all of us, so not only children, that we start to listen and trust what we feel. If we learn to be weary of strangers, we build a distrust and an anxiety around people, which stops us from being open. Our body knows if a certain person has bad intentions. But lets face it, most people don’t have bad intentions.
It feels more transpiring to love and connect to someone you have not met before. I love the opportunity to keep letting them in and to deeply connect to their life bringing more understanding of myself and how it is I need to uniquely express to each one (of my family).
Every time you look in your mirror you will feel the reflection of the relationship you formed with the person you invited into your life, knowing that he too may feel inspired to be open with others.
We are so much more connected to one another than our personal and commonly held ideals and beliefs want to make us to belief.
The more open and relaxed I am, the more people who I don’t know open up to me. It makes sense… if my body language is closed it’s not going to invite an openness in another, more likely they will feel my shut-down-ness and want to go into protection. The more open I am, the more it allows another to feel safe to be themselves and open up too.
Absolutely, we are all connected, ‘there is no such thing as strangers, as we are all connected. Everybody is equal, regardless of where we come from, what we do, or the way we look.’
To me it is interesting to explore the meaning of the word stranger and what it means if we stick this to people. To me, when I ponder a little deeper on this word if feels to me that a stranger could be an extraterrestrial being or something of that like but surely not from the same like I am from. So when I cal someone a stranger I actually say ‘you are not like me’ and that is the evil I can feel in this word as it keeps us separated form the oneness in which we as human beings are all naturally and deeply connected.
The thing that I am noticing about openness, is how it actually helps me to discern, which is enormously helpful in daily life.
When we are open, people open up to us.
Yes, I experience that as well. The more open I am, the more open others are. And if they are not, then that’s fine too. There is always a reason, so that just asks from us to be more understanding.
When I look at the picture attached to this blog, I feel invited through your eyes and held in no judgement- there is a lightness and playfulness which I love . Truly beautiful to feel.
I love your playfulness and openness towards life and people!! I absolutely relate to what you are saying – I love these moments in daily life and you are inspiring me get rid of any “stranger” attitude, if I have one. I will observe myself from now on even deeper 🙂
I know when I am on track when I meet strangers who I instantly connect with, it may just be a smile or a simple hello, these powerful yet simple connections remind us we are from something very grand.
Yesterday I was standing in a packed tube carriage during rush hour. I had nothing to hold onto as I couldn’t access a rail… we were so wedged together that I couldn’t have fallen as there was no space to fall into. The person to each side of me and front and back was propping me up. Bodies were in full contact! I had never experienced anything quite like it. People were forcing themselves into the carriage from each new station platform until there was no more room to push on. Everyone remained silent and calm… no one was talking apart from the occasional person who said ‘this is my stop I need to get off’. It was in this bizarre situation that I asked the person who was next to me, (fortunately as short as me so on my eye line) if this was normal for London rush hour? We struck up a conversation and a third person joined in. There was a beauty in connecting with others in this situation and they did not in the least feel like strangers. I felt that in our communication others around us relaxed… there was a connection for all in it.
Everyone longs for connection- your situation proofs this fact. And even if someone does not respond to an open conversation, we did not hold ourselves back – being open like this reflects the fact, that we are open with ourselves. If it is not met, than it doesn´t matter, as we met us before . If it gets met, amazing expansion and a true sense of connection appears like in your beautiful case.
These days it is joyful to meet new people and have the opportunity to connect with them and with this, the feeling of people being strangers to us or different than our family members does not exist.
When we are connected to our inner essence it is so easy to connect to others that we have not met before, knowing that we are part of one human family, A simple hello where our eyes met can be a truly joyful experience.
Thank you Sandra for so honestly sharing your experience, I can relate to this guardedness withdrawal and isolation, I have lived this way for much of my life, I am slowly lowering the barriers down and feeling more of the real me come out, but just the other day I felt myself go into that old pattern, the standing back from others like someone looking in but not participating, I felt very separate, your writing has given me incites to ponder on as to why I would go back into that old energy.
When we truly connect to another’s quality with no judgment for their actions or choices, we recognize that that which lives within them is a reflection of ourselves for we are all the same when we connect to love.
How liberating it is to walk down a street and not consider anyone we see to be a stranger, but simply someone we have not yet met. To walk in this heart open way comes from truly knowing who we are and our place in this world and that there is actually no need to protect ourselves from anyone else as they are all part of our one big family; humanity.
I know exactly what you are saying Mariette as sometimes you meet someone and you feel like you have known them for ages – the quality of connection between you both feels so strong and solid and well worth appreciating.
Often I go to my local park and find myself chatting to people I have never met before, and at times there is a feeling like I already know the person and could chat forever, as if meeting an old friend. These meetings are so joyful and then stay with me all day.
Mariette, this is a great question; ‘Why do we see people as strangers and what kind of effect does this have on our ability to connect with each other? Even the word ‘stranger’ carries a distance in it’, I have noticed how I can be different with different people, depending on whether I know them, whether I like them, I can feel that there can be judgment there and so this means I can hold myself back and not be open and loving with them, this constant adjusting does not feel natural. It feels natural and very lovely to be light, open, transparent with everybody, I love this.
I have heard many times people tell children to never speak to strangers and when I ponder on this a bit more, I could feel how much this is giving mixed messages to children and I feel it is a message based on fear and protection. Perhaps we may feel differently about talking to strangers if we taught our children to discern and trust what they feel.
Sometimes a connection with a stranger makes my day. How confirming it is when we meet another and that true connection is felt – I love this.
“For me there is no such thing as strangers, as we are all connected. Everybody is equal, regardless of where we come from, what we do, or the way we look.” Beautifully said Mariette. When understood in this way, the notion of a stranger seems a pretty crazy one.
The word stranger is a word covering up the lack of connection in the first place. It is made normal to see a stranger as a stranger rather than just another equal and beautiful human being just like us or anyone we know.
It is so true Mariette that when we really look at it there can never be any strangers amongst us. For within the heart of every man, woman and child resides the divine quality of love, which is who we all are in essence. It is only through our disconnection from this love that we feel ‘estranged’ and live in separation to love. It is from here that the concept of ‘strangers’ is borne, a false impression which does not represent the truth of us all.
It takes just a moment to truly connect with someone who I have not met before and in that moment, it feels like that I have known that person always!
Just recently I too was in a tool shop and a man and his wife offered me help as the shop didn’t have what I needed. This relationship has deepened as he has helped me fix something in my home that no local plumber etc could sort. So what could have been an expensive replacement of a big item has now been solved by this man, who had lived as an engineer in Africa – where you couldn’t just go to a shop to replace things, but had to tinker and find a way to mend stuff. A beautiful chance meeting!
I know not many people would invite a man into their home they just met at the shop for many reasons. I feel the crimes we hear on the news and because of the protected way we live as a society we tend to not trust ‘strangers’. We have on a large scale allowed mistrust into our lives and have made shutting people out the norm. But what you’ve shared Mariette is that we can trust our feelings and our connection with people.