Many traditions teach us that life is a mirror, that everything outside of us is merely reflecting back some part of us. Sometimes this is “positive,” as in a fantastic mate or partner, sometimes more “negative,” as in someone who irritates the heck out of us. Either way, by examining the situation, there is always a gem inside it that can teach us more about ourselves.
The success of our relationships with others (whether a mate, a boss, coworkers, children, friends, acquaintances, or total strangers) is always founded on how we are in relation to ourselves. Using others as a mirror leads us to discover parts of ourselves we weren’t aware of, and we start to appreciate ourselves in a different way. When this happens, we stop taking things as personal affronts to us and start to draw more and more “positive” experiences and relationships into our lives.
If someone’s pushing a button for us, they are reflecting back something about ourselves, usually a quality we have too much of or not enough of, or a quality we express too often or not enough.
Today, I invite you to look at those around you who irritate or anger you. What is it about them that bothers you and what might it be telling you about yourself? For example, if you feel they are too nitpicky about detail, in what ways are you that way? Or in what ways do you not pay enough attention to detail? What areas of your life are asking for your attention that you’re ignoring?
Everything in life is a gift to us. When we realize this, we relax more and start to really appreciate who we are. We become content. And when this happens, everything around us responds, our relationships flourish, and we experience the true miracle of living.