As often happens, I was talking with a dear friend the other day. She and I have some of the best conversations, about things that are important to us.
Like me, she has a hypnosis practice, and is helping people to make big and important changes in their lives.
Also, like me, her perception of herself and the demons that she still wrestles with, while showing remarkable progress, year over year, are by no means gone. So we’re having conversations centered on lifting each other up, reminding each other (and in the process, ourselves), of what we know, our understanding of how life ideally works and ways that we can show up more authentically in our lives.
For a very long time, my belief has been, that the things that annoy, anger, or frustrate me about others, are often the same things that annoy, anger or frustrate me about myself! It is easier though, to see those characteristics (or faults) when looking outward. But the whole idea of each person we encounter serving as a mirror, for us to see ourselves is one that has been helpful, and on occasion troubling.
For those who know me, it won’t be a surprise that there are aspects of what is going on in our country and world, that I find incredibly troubling. INCREDIBLY TROUBLING!
I watch and read a wide variety of domestic and international news reports, limit my television news, and am always mindful that pure news, without spin or some bias is fairly rare today. (That said, I would not subscribe to the notion that all news (except perhaps one ‘news’ outlet) is FAKE NEWS).
But it is an ongoing challenge to stay informed enough to satisfy my need to know and understand, but to attempt to fly a bit above it, so that I’m not in a constant state of crazy rage. It does seem that there could be more than enough of that, in many places you look!
But as my friend and I were talking yesterday, she suggested that I look at these types of situations with the following question.
WHY DOES THIS BOTHER ME SO MUCH?!?!?
Almost instantly, I knew that the situation we were discussing bothered me so much because it took me back to a variety of people and situations where there were bullies, people who were never wrong, or for whom their way was the only way… even if there were potentially smarter/better ways. Situations that still have a tender spot apparently.
With that awareness, I found some relief, though not total relief. Because my past experience has me convinced that when old people/situations poke their head up to say “Howdy!”, it’s often a sign that in spite of the fact that I believed that the processing, forgiving, elimination was complete in a given area, there must be some additional work or awareness being called for.
I always have the option to ignore those tugs toward deeper work. But again, in the past, choosing to ignore has not lead to outcomes that I found pleasant.
Now, as I feel anger or any strong emotion welling up, I’m starting to ask myself; “Why does this bother me so much?” Then following the information to where it leads.