I used to hate hearing that.
There was no way that the angry, rage-filled, critical family member I had to tolerate over the holidays, or that my sometimes bossy, overbearing mom, or the prospective client who just went off on me calling me names was reflecting anything to me about me.
I would like to believe that I am not any of those things.
Yes, I get angry. Sometimes, I rage, criticize, boss people around, and say things I don’t mean. But generally speaking, I am not those things. So why does anger, hatred, criticism, rage, and bossiness keep showing up in my life?
Well, there are some layers to this reflection thing and while I get some of it, I am also still grasping this whole concept. But in my quest to share my own journey and learnings, I will share what I know so far.
Everyone is either a mirror or a lesson.
I’ll give you an example, a family member went off about my parenting over the holidays. Ranting and raving how wrong I am doing things. Criticizing my parenting decisions, as though he should even have a say in how we choose to parent.
At first, I was angry. I wanted to pack up our stuff and go home where I wouldn’t be under attack.
But I stayed and seethed quietly.
Then I started to dig a little deeper.
What was he saying that bothered me? How, if anything, was it true for me?
What he was saying wasn’t completely untrue. I have my own doubts and fears about my parenting and he brought those up for me to address. I can be critical of others as well. I don’t allow them to be on their own journey at times and want them to hear what I am saying as though I know what is best.
In that moment, taking a step back and realizing that while his outburst was all about him, I could also see how he was reflecting back things for me to look at.
We can’t take other people’s words or actions personally and into our hearts, but what we can do is look at them to see if there is any lesson or shred of truth for us to look at within.
What keeps showing up in your life over and over? What might they be trying to teach you?