What if, just in the way that rainstorms, traffic jams and computer crashes are not personal, moods were not as personal as they seem either?
We get a glimpse of this at a football match, at a concert, at the movies, when we most obviously get swept up in moods that are shared. But even when you’re not in a crowd, each mood you experience is only available to you because of the human condition, the biology and physiology you have in common with the billions of other people who have ever lived.
And so, in some fundamental way, all moods belong to everyone, and they’re not nearly as private, or as personal, as they feel.
This means you can let go of the idea that they’re yours alone. You don’t have to be ashamed of them. You don’t have to hide them all the time. You can open up opportunities talk about them, ask for help with them, share insights into them, welcome them, celebrate them, offer support to others with them.
Perhaps you can learn to be with them, without self-pity (how can this be happening to me?) and without self-aggrandisement (I must really be something to be feeling this good). And you can start to develop genuine compassion: the deep understanding that we’re all in this experience of being human together.
When your fear can be understood as a manifestation of the fear that’s all of ours, your sadness an aspect of the sadness, your love an aspect of the love, then the tight drawn-in-close boundary that seems so clearly to separate you from others – particularly in your most difficult moments – can dissolve a little and you can start to discover the enormous possibility for living that comes from being part of the family of things.