Cohabitating with Others
by Madisyn Taylor
Our homes are our havens. These places where we come to rest, recharge, and dream in safety and comfort allow us to better face the challenges of the world outside our doors. When sharing a living space with others, an awareness of the thoughts and feelings of everyone involved is essential in creating the peace we all desire. Regardless of where we lived before, each time we cohabitate with others it is important that we make the effort to share the space in a way that supports everyone.
We need to remember that in a shared space, everything we sense can also be sensed by another person. Peace will not likely be the result when the senses are filled with the sight of unwashed plates, intrusive sounds, unpleasant smells, the feel of a foreign substance beneath bare feet, or the taste of food tainted by an uncovered onion in the fridge. But if we communicate and listen with respect to those with whom we share a space, we may find that one enjoys washing dishes to end the day, while the other can take out the garbage during their evening walk. Working with another's schedule, you can still meditate or exercise to your favorite music while the other is out, and save reading for the times when they are trying to sleep. Being thoughtful of the energy that is required for something to be cleaned up may make everyone aware of being neater, whether that means taking off your shoes at the entrance or wiping up juice spilled on the kitchen floor.
In the same way, pent up resentment toward your living partners is just as easily felt. Keeping the energy clear requires the effort of communication, the awareness of another's feelings, and courtesy toward the space you share. While that sometimes requires changing your schedule or habits, there are many times when having a caring someone nearby is worth all the effort. Living with others can help us learn to mingle our energies at home as well as at work and in the world at large in a way that benefits us and everyone around us.