Everybody Here Is A Friend of Mine

By Laura Moncur @ 9:51 am — Filed under:

Usually when I have a migraine, I hide in a dark room, hoping to sleep it off, but last month, we were traveling to see family and I couldn’t hide. I took my two naproxen sodium pills and the pain lulled to a dull thud. Mike was going to drive and we stopped to get gas in town before leaving.

That’s when it happened…

I was waiting in line at the gas station within a mile of my house when I saw a boy. I knew him! I didn’t know how I knew him, but I knew him and he was a friend. A good boy. And I was happy to see him. I thought that I MUST know him because of my boy, so I looked around for Sean to tell him that his friend was here.

But then I saw the boy’s mom, and I knew her, too! She was a really good friend and I liked her so much, but for the life of me I didn’t know how I knew her. Maybe this boy wasn’t friends with Sean. Maybe I knew them from somewhere else.

Then I turned around and a short, dark-haired woman walked in the door. I KNEW her! She was a really nice lady and I really liked her! I had no idea what her name was, but I knew her and she was my friend.

It was at that point that I realized something was wrong with my brain. I mentioned it to Mike, “My brain is making me think I know everyone.” As I walked out to the car, I scanned the faces around me. I knew the guy filling the little pickup truck and I especially knew his wife. She was definitely my friend. I just couldn’t remember her name.

Everybody Here Is A Friend of Mine

Everybody Here Is A Friend of Mine from Starling Fitness

I explained the misfiring in my brain the best I could. “Everybody here is a friend of mine.” I had a vast and loving feeling when I looked at every face and saw a beloved friend. I felt so happy and joyful.

Obviously, the migraine caused a misfiring in my facial recognition portion of the brain, but it was such a lovely experience. For a brief second, it made me think, “I bet this is what it’s like to be God. He knows everyone and loves everyone.”

The misfiring only lasted about fifteen minutes and I felt a grief when I realized it had left me. For the last month, I’ve tried to recreate it by pretending I know everyone and love them, but it’s just not the same. My brain really made me actually LOVE them. They were all my friends and I wanted to greet them eagerly.

The strangest occurrence is that the people couldn’t help but respond to it. When I saw that boy, I smiled at him and greeted him as if I knew him. He immediately smiled back and said, “Hi.” There was no lack of trust or fear that a strange woman was greeting him. He was just happy to see someone who loved him so much. His mother looked at me similarly, trying to know where she knew me.

The woman with the dark hair who walked in was the most dramatic of all. She had been distracted and frowning when she passed through the automatic doors. When she lifted her head and saw me, gazing at her with all the love of a cherished friend, her face lit up. The change was so very obvious that I truly thought that she knew me as well, but she just nodded at me with smiling eyes and moved on to the soda machine.

So… what does this have to do with healthy eating and fitness?

It’s just another reminder of the fallibility of the human mind. Our love for people is all just chemicals firing in our brains. All of everything that I have ever felt in my life was just chemicals firing off in my brain. ALL OF IT!

Every time I felt bad and overate, it was because of chemicals firing off in my brain. Every time I felt as if I just couldn’t workout today, it was because of chemicals firing off in my brain. There is not an emotion that I felt that wasn’t just a chemical.

Everything I have ever felt was an illusion.

It’s an incredible lesson. I am awed at it even now. When I feel like overeating, I can step outside of my body for a moment and remember the time when my brain made me feel as if everyone here was a friend of mine. It’s not real. My desire to binge is NOT REAL. I don’t need to act on it, just like I was wise not to approach the dark-haired lady and say, “I know you! You’re my friend! Where do I know you from!”

Bingeing is just as insane as walking up to a stranger, professing to know them. Fortunately, I didn’t act on my impulses that day. I was wary because I was having a migraine and reality has bent for me with a migraine before. I should do the same when I feel like bingeing. I can live in the knowledge that when I want to binge, reality has bent for me. There is a glitch in the Matrix.

What if it were true?

The even more powerful thought has haunted me for the last month. What if it were true? What if I saw clearly for the first time in my life? What if everybody was my dear friend? They all have the potential to be my friend. I just don’t have the time to be close friends to everyone I see, but they all have the potential to be beloved. My brain didn’t provide me with false facts. I didn’t think that I knew their names or where I met them. It just gave me the cherished feeling of friendship when I saw their faces.

How would my life be different if I could look at EVERY face I encountered and knew that I loved them and that they were good people who were my friends? Instead of my feelings of distrust and that wall I’ve put up to protect myself, I would be open to friendship with anyone I saw.

And they would respond!

If I smiled so wholeheartedly at everyone I saw, they would smile back. It would double on itself and I would actually feel like they were my friends. It would be an illusion, but so is everything else. And shouldn’t I choose an illusion that makes me HAPPY instead of sad?!

So, the next time you’re feeling down, remember this. It’s an illusion. Choose the illusion that changes your life for the better. Let everyone that you see today be a friend of yours. Let them into your life, even if they don’t like you. Whether they like you or not has no effect on the illusion because it’s an illusion. There is no reality, so choose a reality that makes you happy.

I realized later that the phrase “Everybody Here Is A Friend of Mine” is from the song, “Pop Goes The World” by Men Without Hats. Here’s a video of that song:

I don’t know what that song has to do with what happened to me, but it described it so fully that I clung to the phrase as the perfect description of my experience.


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