“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
— Leo Tolstoy, “Three Methods of Reform,”
In the world of pointing fingers, it is so easy to see how to “change the world,” if only they did this or would do that. It is easy to see someone else’s flaws. It is much harder to recognize our own areas of improvement.
I am no exception; I went through college and graduate school thinking I was going to help save the world. We get into the habit of seeing all the problems with the world and how it could all be better if…
But what if we were to take a different approach, everyone was to spend time looking at themselves. What is it about myself that I could change to be the best version of myself, rather than looking to other faults and what others need to change?
THERE IS A MESSAGE FOR US WHEN WE ARE OFFENDED
In the world of coaching, we talk about what the situation is reflecting to you. This can be good and bad. When it is a situation where we feel triggered, offended or that continues to show up in your life. It is showing you the areas of yourself that you are not owning.
For me, these are the places where I find myself with heightened emotions whether it is frustration, anger, resentment, sadness, etc. It is in those moments that I must look inward and ask what about this must be true for me.
When you find someone that you are really connected with and or someone that you really admire, that is showing you a part of your personality that you like. It can be equally as difficult for some people to see those qualities in themselves.
This can get tricky, because many times people will say something like, “Being triggered by an abuser has nothing to do with me, what they are doing is wrong.” And yes, that is true, but the question for that individual is, “what part of this situation of abuse is bringing up the emotion you are experiencing? What is true for you?”
UNWRAP THE PACKAGE
Now it is not up to the observer to open the package for someone else (even if the answers seem obvious), rather it is up to the individual to discover. It could be that there is a relationship in her life where she has not established a good boundary. Or she sees the need to have total control, much like the abuser and she does not like that part of her personality. Maybe it was an experience that she did not handle well, or at all, and she feels the perpetual guilt. Whatever it is, that situation has a message for her about what she is not owing in herself.
Our feelings are telling us something. But guess what? It is not about the other person, rather is about what the other person is showing us about ourselves. That mirror is showing you where you need to pay attention…whether it is about enhancing the positive qualities of your personality or showing you what you are not owning, there is a message in it for you. It is easy to see someone else’s flaws.
Is there a reflection you are realizing you need to pay attention to? Let’s chat.