I play this game with myself. It’s called: “If they’re annoying me, what do I need to look at in myself?”
One of the most useful pieces of spiritual guidance I’ve ever received has been, to put it bluntly…
It’s not them, it’s YOU.
In other words, how can I change my perspective to feel more relaxed about how others behave? And it’s really not about looking at others through a different lens, it’s about looking inward and making friends with the aspects of me that are illuminated when they do what they do.
You see, what I’ve discovered is that it’s those not-so-lovely bits of ourselves that we despise and bury down so deep we don’t even remember they’re there, that we end up reacting to when others display those same traits.
Now this isn’t about the shop-keeper whose grumpy manner makes you feel bad or the fellow road user who cuts in front of you and gives you a fright and makes you angry (although it could be).
This is more about those nearest and dearest to us. You see, our close family and friends are members of our soul group going back into the distant past and ahead into our mysterious futures whom we’ve decided on a soul level to be with, in order to remember our wholeness and unity with ALL.
Here’s an example: I’ve had a life-long issue with people who in my assessment, over-react to life happenings. Strong outward displays of horror, fear, pain, shock, disapproval and even excitement and glee get me all worked up inside and make me want to tell the person to stop it. Funnily enough, (don’t worry family, I won’t name names) I’ve lived a life surrounded by people naturally inclined to be exuberant, expressive and yes, reactive.
But what I’m slowly realising is that hey, aren’t we all? Aren’t these traits all just a part of being a normal person? I decided at a young age to be more self-contained than “out-there” with my responses to the world. Although, don’t imagine this made for a totally sooth existence for me and my family. Holding all my reactions and feelings inside lead to them building up into volcano-like tantrums that were not pretty at all.
My outlets for self-expression as I grew older became writing, drawing, dancing and singing. Oh, and lots and lots of talking with my friends. That worked out pretty well and I guess I turned out fine.
Still, those feelings of irritation and annoyance persist. There’s clearly more I need to look at within and make friends with. Just lately I’ve been noticing when others are being rigid in their viewpoint and from my perspective, blocking their own happiness and freedom. I guess I do this too. I must, or it wouldn’t bother me that they do it.
It’s all okay though because this is what life’s about. What I’m enjoying now is having the insight to stand back and observe my reactions and feelings and accept them for what they are. This helps me to allow everyone else to be on their path too. Nobody is wrong or less enlightened than anyone else.
So remember, it’s not them, it’s you and we’re all equally lovable, cute and funny <3