If you've ever travelled anywhere in Southeast Asia you'll no doubt be familiar with the phrase "same, same but different."
Apparently the phrase first became popular when people with limited english were trying to convey that something was "similar."
In Cambodia the phrase is used in a "same, same but different" context ... In Cambodia the local people naturally convey a sense that we, as humans are all "same, same but different." A present moment shared with a local will quickly have you realise that beneath our superficial differences we are indeed all "same, same."
I remember when I first truly "landed" this phrase, I was standing in the middle of a remote village in Siem Reap when a friend came out of his hut sobbing his heart out. He had just received news that his mother (whom he had only just been re-united with after the Khmer Rouge) had passed away.
There was something about witnessing his raw grief and heartbreak whilst standing in a village that put life in context for me. In that moment it became "weirdly" apparent that we ALL have HEARTS, hearts that are capable of great love and also capable of immense heart-break.
As I experienced his pain, almost as my own, I realised we've ALL came to this earth to experience LOVE and it's our ability to love and break open that makes us ALL "same, same but different."
It doesn't matter if you live in a 7 bedroom mansion with a lap pool or live in a hut, no one on this earth is immune to heart-break and EVERYONE is capable of great love.
As with any heart-breaking moment I've ever experienced in my life, there was such grace. Even now, as I reflect back I can still FEEL the rawness of that moment that conveyed such love and a true sense of being connected to all that is.
To this day, when I look a person in the eye I'm conveying a sense that "I see YOU." I recognise your capacity to love and your ability to break open (and because of this I hold the deepest, most REAL part of you with love, strength and tenderness...) I recognise that we're all "same, same but different."
May we all find the clarity to SEE beyond what's "different" and EXPERIENCE the "same, same" in each other.