How often do you look within to find answers?
The other day I was visiting with a dear friend. I noticed that she was focused heavily on things that were annoying her. So-and-so was being hurtful towards her, another person caused her frustration. There was a lot of finger pointing at external circumstances which were making her unhappy. I encouraged her to look within.
I asked her to look at her own responsibility in the situation. The person who hurt her feelings was not a stranger, it is someone whom she truly cares about. She began to see how their pain was projected at her, but it wasn’t actually about her. She saw that her friend was hurting and she could have reciprocated with love instead of taking it personally.
The frustration she felt from the other person may have been justified, but after deeper analysis, it turned out to be her inflexibility to see things from their perspective. She realized that she could have been more receptive instead of annoyed by her other friend.
Once she decided to look within at herself, the pain and frustration became petty. My friend became empowered, knowing that her destiny is in her own hands, not thrown upon her by others.
After we parted ways, I went within myself. Why did she show up in my life? Where do I point fingers externally instead of taking a good look within? How often do I take things personally when it is simply someone else expressing their own emotions?
Attempting to look within isn’t always easy to do. Try this enlightening exercise:
- Act as if each person you cross paths with is a mirror, showing you parts of yourself that you wouldn’t normally see.
- Notice where you do “that thing” they are doing that is either obnoxious or super neat.
- Acknowledge that most likely the behavior is an exaggerated example of what you tend to do, blown out of proportion to better illustrate what it is in you that could use an adjustment.
- Readjust behaviors to reflect how you truly would like to be.
If practiced on a regular basis, you will soon discover that all life is a teacher, showing examples of where to grow and learn. The more regular an annoying or frustrating behavior shows up in life, the more important it is for you to look within at your own character. The ego doesn’t easily allow us to notice when we are less-than-perfect, and so using others as a mirror is a great indicator of where to look within.
The most rewarding part of this practice is that once behaviors are adjusted away from the obnoxious and towards the empowered, you will notice less annoying people and more inspirational heroes. I know for me, it is very important to be surrounded by love rather than frustration. I am also fully aware that my destiny is in my own hands. I attract peace, love and happiness by exhibiting those qualities.