Monday, December 26, 2011

Let Others Be Who They Are

Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently

When you are constantly pointing out the flaws of others, you only bring attention to your own.

The second time I woke up this morning (I’ll tell you about the first in a bit,) I had a wonderful revelation. Somewhere in my dreams, I came to see that the real trick to becoming who we are is in allowing others to be just who they are.

This realization has taken me a while to come to. I’ve been doing the practice and have had amazing results, but it was not until this morning that I was able to see why I have had such a fantastic ride through life.

Everything is so much clearer when you look at your life through the lens of self-discovery. We get to see ourselves as others see us, but more importantly, you get to transform into the person you want to be.

In my past, I struggled with judging  others, but because I’m a sociologist, I would tell myself that I was simply making observations, but let’s just call a tree a tree (I don’t really get the spade thing) when we are constantly pointing out the shortcomings of others, we are only scapegoating our shortcomings onto someone else.

In the last twenty years of my life, I’ve been able to truly go with the flow, “That’s who they are and it seems to be working for them,” I say to folks when they bring me the latest “news” about someone they don’t care for. I’m willing to help when needed. If someone is in danger or doing harmful things, we must take appropriate action, but what I’m talking about is the need to “fix” others when what we really should be doing is working on ourselves. I’ve found that I have enough of my own life and stuff to deal with; I really don’t have the time, skills or money to work on someone else.

This morning, I was able to see that the trick of self-work is to do just that; work on your own self. We can share what we learn on our journey, but there is no need to have an expectation for others to be who we are; we must be it for ourselves.

Think of the most evolved person you know and you will get a picture of what I’m talking about. These people are never the center of someone else’s mess and drama. These are the folks who are beautifully balanced and appear to literally flow through life. The lack of judgment of others truly lightens your load, enabling you to do what you need for yourself and the Universe.

When you free your thoughts of why someone else is the way they are, you get to see who you are.

Now to the first time I woke up. This morning, I was completing my long drive back from Christmas day with family. When we first started out, we were stuck in a traffic jam that piled up behind a major accident. I had to put my car in park and sit with the thousands of other holiday travelers who’d been stopped there also. We watched as emergency vehicles tried to get through the gridlocked lanes that had quickly developed into a sea of angry drivers. People had gotten out of their cars and were walking up towards the accident to get a better view. Some motorists were angry enough to yell at other drivers who had moved up too close to them or who hadn’t advanced the two inches when movement was possible. My family and I decided to sing and wait, but as a helicopter landed somewhere in front of us, we realized the severity of the accident and silently prayed for the people involved. An hour later, traffic was moving again and so we were on our way home. But that hour was the time I needed for that last stretch of our trip.

On that last hour of driving, I became extremely tired and found it difficult to keep my eyes open. My mind wandered to an open field (I was probably thinking of the one I would end up in,) Now, that I’m home and rested, I can see that the logical thing would have been to just pull over, but when you are overly tired, you are never logical.

I was struggling with whether or not I should pull over (See no logic here,) when I decided to wake up everyone else in the car. I asked everyone to talk to me so we could do the last 70 miles. Suddenly, everyone was wide awake and telling me all kinds of crazy stories. Nothing made sense, because I didn’t have any sense, but I kept driving. Then, my son and daughter (ages 19 and 20) began to sing Silent Night, but with the voice of other singers and actors. By the time they got to Christopher Walken, I had laughed myself right up my driveway.

I got in, showered and went to sleep and dreamt of people trying to be someone else and everything looked funny to me. I woke up and then told myself to go back to sleep, hence the second sleep and I saw what I needed to see; everyone was being who they are, I was able to be me and all was right with the world.

Life is beautiful! Be who you are, love others as they are, work on yourself and shine your light.

Be Beautiful, Be You, BE Well

Bertice Berry, PhD


  1. Bertice, you are a cherished blessing to many and your words and insights are such nourishment to our souls. Wishing you and yours a most beautiful holiday and know you are loved!

  2. Hi Bertice,

    You are deeeeelcious! And I can envision the whole experience, the singing and all! And I will send my prayers to those souls who had the accident and needed to be airlifted away, hopefully straight to their recovery.

    Karin T. ;0) xoxo