Looking Beyond: Seeing others through finding yourself
When I first thought about what it meant to look beyond, my thoughts immediately went to what the world would be like if we all did, in fact, look deeper. Past the initial layers of every being or situation . . . beyond race, beyond nationality, beyond gender, beyond political party, beyond all the number of things that cause us to make assumptions and, dear I say it, . . .judgments. I’m pretty sure it would be as close to a perfect world as we could get.
Looking beyond our personal assumptions and judgments, because yes, we all have them. If you can’t personally think of a time you made an assumption or feel you have remained null and void of any ounce of judgment at any point in your life, please pass me your halo. I’ll share it with the rest of us in Group B.
The truth is, if we really look deep into ourselves, we see that at some point we have made assumptions based on the information we have gathered from our personal upbringing, experiences, and lack of experience. Assumptions, for all of us (raising my hand), result as a means to make sense of the unknown, not knowing any better, and out of fear. Some are made intentionally, where as others, many others are made unintentionally. This does not in any way justify them, but it may shed some light on our own assumptions of the person making that judgment. Deep.
So how can we even begin to look beyond our own personal (and internal) judgments and assumptions? That’s just it, we can’t until we make an active decision to look beyond ourselves, beyond all of our life’s understandings and turn inward to evaluate all the nukes and crannies that make up what lies beyond our surface. The truth is people, inclusive of you or I, cannot truly look to someone with understanding, unless we have looked at ourselves on a deeper level. So leads to what looking beyond means. It means looking in a mirror at ourselves and taking a cold, hard look with an open mind and heart at the person that we see staring back at us to understand, own, and in some cases challenge our upbringings, cores, insecurities, experiences, and fears. This is not an easy feat. Yes. . .it’s flat out difficult, and as differences will exist across people, some will have an easier time with this than others. Some will flat out walk away and never make this move in their lives. It can be scary, even horrifying, to face and confront our weaknesses, own our imperfections, and admit where we can grow. Yet, when we make these steps to grow, heal, and see our world beyond our surface, we understand that as complex and vast as we may (or may not be) there are others that share those same upbringings, cores, insecurities, experiences, and fears and there are others, to know decision good or bad on their own, who have an experiences a whole other set of colors and dimensions. We all battle with our demons, and we all rejoice in our strengths.
Consider this a call to action. A call to look beyond that begins by making an active personal decision to take that journey. A journey where we confront, own, and accept all the stuff that makes us whole: the good, the bad, and the ugly, so that we can truly understand and accept others. Now we must understand that not everyone will take that step (talking to those with the halos) . . .really not everyone is ready, but for those of us that can be and choose to be ready to walk away from those difficult elements of ourselves that might be affecting our ability to truly see others, now is the time to make that decision, to take that step, to look beyond ourselves and see the world and all in it with an open mind. If we do this, imagine the things we can do together.
About the Author:
Victoria Rodriguez is the Founder and CEO of the The Running Stylist, Inc. and creator of The Fit Style Approach. She is a Licensed Social Worker, Running Coach, and Stylist. The mission of The Running Stylist, Inc. is to work with clients to build self-esteem through an incorporation of fashion, fitness, and doing good. The Fit Style Approach combines these platforms to build confidence, strength, boldness, and bring to life that complete (and badass) person we are supposed to be.