Wednesday, September 01, 2010
We seem to hate in others what we hate in ourselves
The longer I walk this earth, the more convinced I am about one thing...the things we dislike about others is so often the very thing we dislike about ourselves. Finger pointing is a strange thing, its true that while we are shaking that finger at another for their faults, three are pointing right back at ourselves. Think about it, how many times have you heard someone say, "so and so is such a gossip" as they go on and on about that very person in the most gossipy way. Something wrong with that picture. One of the biggest light bulb moments in this line of thinking happened a couple years ago when someone just went after me on the blog here for "flip flopping" my directions after first leaving the Mennonite church. It was hard to find my place after such a structured setting and at times I just felt so lost that I wanted to head back to that life and then would see over again the reasons why we left it. This very same person has struggled far more than I ever did with going back and forth in church memberships, and with what kind of food to eat, etc etc. Now I get it, she was seeing in me at that moment the very things she herself struggled with.
For all of us, its much easier to point out anothers short comings than to change our own.
I fight the urge to be materialistic...its not the real me, but it is there under the surface. I know that is why I write about it a lot. I know the pitfalls to seeing things as a measure of ones life, ones accomplishments. Writing about it, keeps me in line. It is my reminder too.
Acknowledging this rather unflattering aspect of humanity, this need to dislike what we see in others that is really our own problem, mirrored by them, can take some of the sting out of it and be used as a tool for changing those very things that motivate us to be unkind at times, or relish a bit that fault finding of others. Looking squarely at what we need to change in ourselves and working towards that goal of overcoming is perhaps the biggest step we can take in finding contentment and kindness towards others and then towards ourselves.
It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...