“With some people solitariness is an escape not from others but from themselves. For they see in the eyes of others only a reflection of themselves.” – Eric Hoffer
I once read that if you look into the eyes of your beloved for 20 minutes without interruption, you will see their soul. Have you ever tried this? That sounds very intense to me, and now I wonder if it might be too much because I can see a reflection of myself, and perhaps what I see is overwhelming, even the good stuff.
“Those you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them…Who you are can be laid bare to you through what you see in others.” – Daily OM
Think about your friends. They most probably have similar qualities, some desirable traits you wish you had, and one or two you appreciate a little less. Now think about people who irritate or frustrate you. They also have characteristics similar to yours. You might not see these wonderful and not-so-wonderful qualities in your own self, but trust me, they are in there.
So, in thinking about your friends, consider their positive traits that you admire. Make a list of the things you love about them. Take a close look, and if you are taking an honest inventory of yourself and being open to your own greatness, you will find that you are in possession of those very traits you admire. You have attracted this person to your life because you are like him or her.
Now consider the traits that frustrate or irritate you and write those down. Taking an honest inventory, note that you hold some of those very tendencies, or you used to, and that explains why you have drawn this person to you. Can you see anything you need to work on? It is so easy to notice the faults and foibles of others, but what about our own areas that need attention?
We tend to focus on what we see in others, what they need to work on. Sometimes we get stuck in our own rut trying to figure out what is “wrong” with us and spend a lot of wasted time and energy chasing after answers and solutions. I present a radical solution: stop focusing on the negative. Notice it, be aware that it exists, and let it go for a little while. I am not suggesting that you should eschew self-improvement; quite the contrary. Just shift focus from what is “wrong” to what is right and good about you.
I recently had a disagreement with a friend that left me feeling disappointed and frustrated. It took some time to process, to understand why I was so bothered. Her reaction to me stemmed from her own experiences and had little to do with me, and my reaction to her held that mirror right in front of my face. When I finally looked, I was not at all impressed with what I saw: judgment, fear, insecurity and anger. That was old stuff, and I really thought I had buried the past and moved forward. I was disappointed in myself for feeling the way I did, but a wise advisor pointed-out that this situation had more to do with love than anything else. Oh really? Hmm… “Let’s see about this,” I thought to myself.
After thinking about it for a few days and waking up in the wee hours preoccupied with thoughts about my wounded friendship, disappointment in myself and irritation with the whole situation, I came to this conclusion: this friend held the mirror for me until I could see what I didn’t want to see; that the characteristics I was seeing in her were also some of my very own. Gulp. Humble Pie. Love.
Rather than beat myself up or judge her, I chose to release the negative feelings. I turned the frustration into self-love and began working toward goals that I have yet to achieve because of my own fears and insecurities. I allowed myself to see my friend’s amazing traits, and in her reflection, saw myself. I let love wash over me, carry me and bring me to the level where I want and need to be. I was able to see myself reflected in her love and beauty, and my entire perspective shifted back to the positive.
On this journey, we need to reflect upon ourselves and our experiences. If this is a challenge, look at your friends and loved ones to find the real image of yourself. Spend some time admiring your friends, then applaud yourself for being attracted to amazing people who inspire you. After you finish congratulating yourself for choosing great people, honor yourself for the amazing, beautiful qualities that you also possess. We see our true selves through our perception of others, so be loving and respectful to everyone and love and respect will reflect back on you.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.