“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
It’s Not You It’s Me: How To Really Change Myself
Today I want you to take the time to think about someone who you really dislike, nay, someone who you may even despise.
What is it that irritates you most about them? Is it that they are inconsiderate? That they don’t listen? Or maybe that they are overly narcissistic?
What if I told you that it is entirely possible to even learn to like these people, and that it’s actually in your best interest to do so. Don’t believe me? Well, if you give me a few minutes of your time and if you make you a sincere effort you will see why other people, especially ones that irritate you, hold the key to immense understanding of yourself and the world.
One of the main problems is that we are more conscious of other people’s behavior then we are of our own. We don’t deeply realize that we are the source and cause to how we process reality and therefore pass on the responsibility to external sources. We take our moods, thoughts, feelings, emotions, to be ourselves. We are completely lost in them. Meaning we are identified and derive our total sense of self from them.
Most people take whatever thoughts, emotions, and moods that they are having in the moment to be their identity. But how could you be your thoughts, emotions, and moods if you can observe them? Let that sink in and contemplate the ramifications of this realization if you have never seriously done so. Who you really are is the pure awareness that is beyond any label that can perceive these inner manifestations.
If you can’t psychologically divide yourself into two, meaning, an observer and observed side. You will be in a state of identification, which is to be unconscious, because you are under the power of your thoughts and emotions. You take them to be who you are. This is to live a life of reaction by being a slave to life and all its events. No actions spring from our own doing, every action is provoked externally. If you learn to sharpen your awareness, after much hard work on yourself, your thoughts and emotions become objects to you. Objects that you can observe with out judging and condemning. If you can reach this stage in self development, you will be on the road to really understanding yourself.
Now, let’s get back to the people who you dislike and irritate you. Think of all the reasons why they irritate you. Ok, do you have a nice big list? What if I told you the major reason why those things irritate you, is because you yourself possess those very things that you hate.
Well, if your like most people, you won’t be able to see it. You won’t want to. You will say I’m never late, I am always considerate, I am nice, I am thoughtful, I don’t gossip about others, I don’t boast or brag about myself, etc.
The reason that other people irritate you, is because somewhere deep inside you, these ugly manifestations are lurking. You can call it the content of your unconscious mind if you like. We have thousands of mental pictures that prevent us from seeing the ugly side of ourselves. But you can easily see they exist because you will project them onto others. This way you can slyly pass on the responsibility to something else.
You really need to see that you are the cause to everything. What do I mean by this? I mean that we all live in our very own psychic world. We make contact with the physical(visible) world by means of our psychic (invisible) world. If you really contemplate it you will see that our psychic world is even more real than the so called physical world, which can easily be distorted through our physical senses. Do you not spend your whole day lost in your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and moods? All of which are invisible from people. It’s easy to see then why in actuality we are all completely alone and we feel no one understands us. How could they?
When you see a person, you merely get a visual impression of that person through your eyes and whatever feeling you have towards them springs within you. If you look at a stranger and suddenly feel an unpleasant feeling (they may have provoked it, but are they the cause?), is it something that you can really ascribe to this person? Or is it something inside you that is unpleasant? What could they be possibly be helping you to see within your self?
If you learn to see yourself more objectively, you will begin to see all the things that you only saw in the other, within yourself. It’s quite a shocking thing to see all the beautiful images you had of yourself be destroyed when you let a ray of light in. You get a glimpse into parts of your psyche that where always left unobserved. The unobserved is now observed. All of a sudden you see that you lie, you gossip, you criticize, that you are inconsiderate of others just as much as the people you condemn. This is what it means to voluntarily suffer.
If we can sincerely see and accept the ugly side of ourselves, we begin to heal ourselves. These neurotic behaviors once clearly seen hundreds of times begin to soften their hold on us. They begin to be flushed out of our system. So, what happens when all these false images of our selves are clearly seen? Our relationship to ourselves and others naturally changes. We get a quite different feeling of ourselves. A more real feeling.
(If you would like to know how to increase your awareness and expand your consciousness please read my introductory post here.)
How To Change Your Attitude About Life
It’s like magic, when all of a sudden the things that irritated you about the other person cease to upset you. You can understand and relate to them because you can literally place yourself in their shoes. How could you get mad at them for something you yourself are equally guilty of? You will also feel a sense of compassion because you see it’s not really their own fault. They are just not conscious of themselves. As Jesus would say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do”.
Another very strange thing happens. When all those nasty things that you ascribed to them fall away, you may actually find things you like about them. You are seeing them in a different light and now that you are not perceiving them in a purely negative light, you will see things that you can admire. It’s quite an extraordinary and sobering experience to see for yourself that it’s possible to like things that you disliked and dislike things that you previously liked. This just means that you are becoming more inwardly flexible, because you are becoming less identified to all the images and attitudes that give you fixed opinions on everything.
I am currently working on a guide to proper self observation and meditation. If you are interested in knowing when it is finished please sign up for my newsletter. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I sincerely hope it helps in some way. Peace.