Looking Through the Window

Looking through the window
Recently, I was sitting on my back porch and as I glanced through the closed window, I watched my wife interacting with my children in the kitchen. They were not doing anything exceptional; typical family stuff – eating, talking, smiling; one of the kids was kind of just spacing out. Yet, my heart immediately became filled with such immense joy, compassion and gratitude.
Funny thing, on the other side of the window, in the same room with them and observing the same scene, I would never experience the same depth of love and compassion. I have been wondering why.
There is something about looking through a window.
I am not sure but I think it has something to do with the window being a boundary, a division, but a clear one. You are there and I am here and there is a transparent, open space between us. It is in that space that true emotional relatedness, compassion and connection can blossom. You can be you and I can be me and we can touch each other’s lives safely and experience one another in a moving and meaningful way.
What if I could experience the “window effect” constantly even while sitting directly across from someone in the same room? In truth, the invisible boundary between 2 people is always there but if it has been violated (and all of us have had our boundaries violated at one time or another) it becomes a lot more intense, perhaps even a bit threatening to be so close. That background noise prevents us from being truly present together and able to connect with the person right before us.
The more we learn to own our own complete experience (including our full range of emotions) as legitimately ours, the more the boundary between “I and thou” becomes clear and the easier it is to have the “window experience” with anyone you come into contact with.