My whole life I’ve heard people say that what we dislike in others is simply a reflection of what we dislike in ourselves. I’ve thought on this, and I’ve journaled on it. But I’ve struggled to believe it, as I’ve always found a way to pinpoint reasons for my dislike or resentment that were actually just the opposite–they were behaviors so contrary to what I believe that I simply couldn’t find the connection to that oft-shared adage.
Today I know that they (the wise, knowing, vague “they”) have been right all along.
I’m not going to share the details of this ah-ha moment for the sake of my ego. While doing my noon meditation today, though, clarity slapped me upside the head as I recognized I was feeling resentment toward an acquaintance. Shortly before that meditation, that resentment had manifested itself in eye rolls and smug thoughts of how obnoxious this person’s words were. I took personally a statement was almost certainly not directed toward me, and I’d become defensive, my mind immediately racing to dream up ways to puff up and make myself feel important and, ironically, above such childish statements as the one this person made.
That’s when I realized that, first, my reaction was anything BUT mature. Then, more importantly, during my kindness-focused meditation, I came face-to-face with the truth: my reaction was based squarely in the reality that this acquaintance has recently made life changes that I envy. I’m not saying I’d like to swap lives–not in the least. However, some of those changes are things that I’d like to change in my own life.
It’s hard to admit those feelings, but WOW. What a gift that awareness is, both in guiding how I choose to interact with people in situations like this, as well as in reinforcing for me what I’m seeking on a subconscious level.
Seems the truth is always lurking just under the surface, waiting for me to get quiet enough to hear it.