I was asked a couple wonderful questions! In my previous post I wrote that for me, there are no strangers, because I believe that we are all one Consciousness, and all permanently connected with each other.
Question: When you have the belief that "Everyone is my friend, there are no strangers", what about people you don't like?
My take on this:
There are people I don't like. When I'm being honest, I realize it has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with me. I don't like them
because I'm judging them or part of them in some way
or because I see in them something I don't like about myself (again, because I'm judging myself or part of myself for that)
or because I'm scared of them in some way (and this too is a consequence of judging either them or the situation)
Basically, it's always about judging, them or myself, with or without fear as a consequence.
My answer to this is present moment awareness. When I'm judging, it means I'm not being present. When you're being present, you cannot possibly judge. To judge, you need to label things. You need to give them a name, a value, a "good" or "bad" tag, to think of consequences they might have in the future or in the past, and so on. It's impossible to do this when you're being totally focused on here and now.
Therefore, a high present moment awareness means no judging, and no judging means I can't dislike anyone, because I dislike people on the basis of some judgment. So when I notice that I don't like someone, putting myself immediately back into a state of presence solves the problem.
What also helps is to ask myself what it is exactly that disturbs me about the person I don't like. If it's fear, I face that fear and shine Love on it. If I'm judging them or seeing in them something that I judge myself for, I practice Acceptance. I remind myself of the fact that there is no right and wrong, that all choices are valid and that everything is perfect the way it is.
I also work on loving all that is unconditionally. Since we are all One, all manifestations of one Consciousness, those I don't like are aspects of this Consciousness: parts of myself. It doesn't make sense to hate some parts of myself and to reject them because they're not as I want them to be. This would only create disharmony, separation and fear, and harm the whole system.
Instead, I practice loving all of myself unconditionally, both internally and externally as other people and the world around me. I especially send Love to those I don't like. I think accepting and loving them instead of resisting them has a healing effect, on me, on them, on the world.
I see not liking someone as disconnecting. When I'm being fully present and connected, I love everybody. My goal is to make this my permanent way of being. I'm not there yet but on my way. I'm convinced that if everybody were fully present and connected all the time, there would be no such thing on this planet as not liking someone.
Question: What about people you've met and decided you don't want to associate with them for one reason or another? Do you still feel they are your friend, or does that belief "Every stranger is my friend" holds true until you've gotten to know the stranger and decided that stranger is not someone you want to be friends with?
My take on this:
It happens that I decide, for some reason, not to associate or not to spend much time with someone. However, this doesn't mean I don't love them. Loving someone does not mean that I have to spend a lot of time with them, it does not even mean that I have to communicate with them at all.
There are people I love dearly, but have decided not to meet again. There are people who have chosen to leave my life. There are people I'm simply not interested in spending time with for some reason. I love all of those people though and feel one with them. I send Love to them. Just because we can't be together in this lifetime doesn't mean I have to disconnect from them! Why on earth would I??
Choosing not to associate with someone is no personal attack, it's no rejection either. It's a time-management choice. You can make this choice from a place of Love and still feel loving and connected towards those you don't spend time with.
Question: Even with killers and toxic people?
My take on this:
Toxic people are never toxic because of what they are, they're toxic because of what you are. Only what resonates with you on some level can affect you. So if someone influences you negatively, drains your energy, makes you feel bad, etc, then their "toxic" part resonates with something inside of you in some way. If one person's toxicity totally does not resonate with you, you won't be affected by it. When you become so strong that you don't resonate with some person's toxicity, then this person is not toxic to you anymore. No matter how negative she is, it won't affect you.
Which means that toxic persons are wonderful opportunities to grow. Solution: check what, inside of you, resonates with this person's negativity and work on yourself. If you don't feel strong enough to spend time with this person while simulatneously trying to change yourself, because contact with this person would reinforce the part of you that resonates with their toxicity, then you can of course choose to temporarily not associate with them. But that's not a reason to disconnect.
Same with killers. If you think it's better for your personal security not to meet a sadistic serial killer in person, don't. As I said above, loving someone does not mean you have to spend time with them. I can see no reason to disconnect though. Protecting yourself does not require that you reject others and disconnect from them.
There's a big difference between disconnecting from someone, saying "You are someone else. I don't love you, you're not my friend, go away", which is turning your back to Love and negating that we are all one, thus fragmenting yourself - and simply choosing not to concretely spend time with someone, while still loving them and feeling deeply connected with them.
Everybody is lovable, no matter what they do. There's absolutely no reason not to love everybody. Why would you turn your back on a part of the Universe and disconnect from it?
One reason I can see is judgment. You see "them" as separate from "you" and want to punish them for doing something you think is "bad" or "wrong", like killing or draining you. That's your mind judging them. When you're being present, such a thing doesn't happen.
That's how I see it. What do you think? :-)