Oh, the things that we know that we so do not want to know…like the idea that what angers us about someone else, that make us ache or want to yell and scream or throw something breakable against the wall, is also something that we have been unable or unwilling to see about ourselves. Yep. Stinks, doesn’t it? And yet life has this magical way of poking at those blind spots again and again by holding up a mirror for us to see what it is that we don’t want to see. And it’s been one of those weeks that I swear I have been in one of those mirrored funhouses where there is a mirror at every turn, so much so that it becomes dizzying, disorienting and makes you want to throw up. One wee little mirror showed me how much I am willing to stuff, slice and otherwise mutilate my inner self to avoid hurting another person, which of course never works, it just leaves me bleeding and the other person either happily bloated with delusion or resentful without really knowing why.
If you want to get ahead of the game, and it is really a game, you can play along by truly paying attention when something hooks you, riles you up, makes you want to lash out or scream, and taking a few deep breaths, and asking yourself, “what’s really going on here?” Now, I know, believe me, the satisfaction of sassing back that it is all the other person and their blindness to reality or inconsideration or whatever. And if you are stuck there, wait a few minutes before proceeding, but take that close look, and be honest that what you are angry about in this person is, say, their tendency to forget to so something that they promise you they will do—repeatedly. And look at yourself then and see if this is a habit that you might also have that you are less than thrilled with, even though it always seems like you really did just forget and weren’t disregarding the other person or your word.
It can be fun, sort of, to see all the little baubles you hide from yourself. And the best part is, once you see them for what they are, it breaks their spell over you and you can laugh, mostly, when they come up the next time, and the next.