It’s Not Them, It’s You

In my youth, I took what people gave me and neglected to offer gratitude. One day I realized I didn’t like that part of me. I began to work on changing my behavior. I started to show more gratitude towards others. I looked at situations in more detail to see if they were balanced and fair. But, in the active process of trying to be better at giving and receiving fairly, I found myself angered quickly at those around me that were selfish. I shot my judgement out at them and let them frustrate me. “How dare they be so selfish!”

A few years into this, I discovered my judgment was aimed at the wrong person. The anger I shot out at others for being selfish was really aimed myself. I was upset at others for something I actually didn’t like about myself.

People have lost countless hours and days in these patterns. Personal fights, work struggles, etc. We carry the stress of these frustrations and angry interactions with us like old, heavy, moldy suitcases. And every moment spent in frustration is a moment of happiness lost.

So what the heck do we do with this? We stop pointing fingers and blaming, and start taking a good hard inventory of ourselves to figure out why someone’s behavior triggers us so strongly. What is it in ourselves that sparks our frustration?

A simple practice goes a long way. Start catching yourself in anger and turning the mirror around to yourself. What triggers you in others is always a reflection of ourselves. When you are able to see it, to really see the root of the problem as it lies within yourself, you are able to let it go. Heal it and set it free. When I realized this, I was able to let go of my outward judgement as a result of letting go of my own personal judgement toward myself. Now, selfish, greedy people don’t bother me anymore. They are just living their life pattern. They are just living their path.

Last thought – consider this – what ticks off one person might not bother the next person. So, frustrating behavior is not universal. That means, it’s not the person who is exhibiting the behavior, it is the person receiving the behavior. Thus, when we are frustrated at a person, it’s not them, it’s us. Set yourself free from frustration. See the situation on an internal level. Give yourself the relief of not carrying those old, heavy, moldy suitcases.

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