We all project our internal world onto the external word as a way to cope with the strong emotional reactions within us. You will hear your fearful friend find something new to be scared of every week. Your mom will be relentlessly angry at the injustices of the world. Your co-worker will try and help you as a way to hide the fact that they have their own needs. And we will always react to these projections.
Every reaction that you have towards someone else, whether it be good or bad, has everything to do with yourself and nothing to do with them. As they project, so do you. When we complain to our friends and family about the passive-aggressive comments a stranger made to us, we are not reacting to the stranger’s actions. We are reacting to how their actions made us feel.
Every problem you have with someone else, big or small, is a problem you have within yourself that you refuse to accept. When I am mad at my boss for being attached to an outcome, I am really angry at myself for my own attachments. When I cannot accept the shortcomings in my partner, it means I cannot accept the shortcomings within myself. When I judge others, I am judging myself.
Every reaction you have is your own responsibility. And that is a gift.
If every reaction is your own responsibility, then that means you can choose how you will respond in each moment. You can awake to your pre-conditioned responses and choose differently. You can react and then later examine that reaction and discover where you have not been kind or loving to yourself. The universe is showing you where you can grow and how you can reach equanimity no matter what happens. This is a gift!
Next time you find yourself complaining about the judging eyes of the strangers that pass you on the street, look within. How do you judge others? How do you judge yourself? And why?
Now, once you have found the reason why you are reacting from another’s actions, acknowledge it. And do nothing else. Don’t ruminate on how you can fix this blind spot, on how you can move past it. Do nothing but accept it. There is nothing wrong with you! There is nothing to fix! You are perfect as you are, as is everyone else. Only notice it and accept it. Don’t push it away or deflate yourself or get angry with yourself. Just accept it. That reaction is a part of you, and it is a perfect part of you (even if you think it is not a flattering part of you).
As there is nothing to fix in others, there is nothing to fix in yourself. And how brilliant! You are already where you need to be. You already know all you need to know. Now, it is just time to enjoy it. And know that you can choose your reactions and learn to love yourself in total new ways.