Sally Discovers We’re All Connected

During her life, Sally, the main character in Sally in the Afterlife, believed she and everyone around her was an island, completely separate and cut off from the other islands around her, and that nothing anyone did affected anyone else. Therefore, she and the other islands around her could behave almost any way they wanted, without any consequences to speak of. In fact, throughout Sally’s life, she prided herself on her independence, which she admired as one of her major strengths and greatest virtues.
“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection—or compassionate action.”
Daniel Goleman

We are more like the humongous, statuesque redwood tree of Northern California, hundreds of feet tall, seeming as though separate from the surrounding trees. For centuries, these giant trees have withstood harsh elements because their shallow, but secure and intertwining root system has held each tree up. This same system also allows the sharing of nutrients.

That’s a kind and robust support system that stands up to everything throughout time, an invisible network. This is the type of connection between everyone and everything that Sally missed during her life, but which became so clear in her afterlife.

“When we know ourselves to be connected to all others, acting compassionately is simply the natural thing to do.”
Rachel Naomi Remen

What if Sally felt this type of connection and had lived her life with more compassion? Maybe she would have had more loving and fulfilling relationships. Perhaps she would have suffered less regret for the way she lived her life.

Only in her afterlife does Sally realize that no one is separate; quite the opposite. And it’s in her afterlife that she sees that her independence was actually a hindrance to connecting with others.

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
John Muir

I personally resonate with Sally’s independence and don’t want to wait until I’m in the afterlife to figure out that I could have connected more with others during my life. Please help me out by sharing in the comments section below the different ways that you connect with others in your life.

Thank you!

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