According to this yoga concept, all of the people you will meet in your lifetime will fall into one of four categories – what they call “locks.” Each one of these can be challenging to us for different reasons.
Take happy people, for example. If you’ve feeling very unhappy yourself, or if you’re dealing with your own suffering, you may feel very out of sync with a happy person. This can feel uncomfortable and you may express that, either consciously or unconsciously, driving a wedge through the interaction.
The “key” for dealing with happy people is to greet them with joy and friendliness. If you’re not feeling that joy, try pretending. There’s an expression in 12-step recovery that suggests, “fake it until you make it.” There is also plenty of scientific evidence that laughing and smiling – even when you don’t feel it – makes you feel happier. And it definitely has a positive impact on whoever you are smiling at!
So what if you come upon an unhappy person? The temptation may be to react, try to fix the person, or even get angry at the person for being negative. With this lock, the key is compassion. Validate the person and allow them to feel what they’re feeling.
Next week, we’ll talk about the remaining two locks and their corresponding keys. Practicing these keys can help to bring peace into your daily interactions and remove the need to use food and unhealthy behaviors to distance yourself from difficult people.