Who's the problem?
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
~ Aristotle ~
Have you ever noticed how life is constantly offering up opportunities to grow and learn, and how we (at least many of us) constantly resist the opportunities?
Life is doing its job.
Too often, we humans are not.
Instead, we're busy resisting, ignoring, over-looking the abundance before us in our quest to blame, criticise and condemn others for our lack of happiness, joy, love, peace...
For awhile, without my even realizing it, I had been building up a little pile of resentment around my beloved's inability to understand me. Now don't get me wrong, I love C.C. deeply, but sometimes, he just doesn't get me. Know what I mean? When I say with great enthusiasm, 'Let's paint the living room!' He says, 'There's a hockey game on tonight'. When I say, 'let's go pick out paint'. He says, 'After the hockey game is over.'
I mean really. Doesn't he know painting the living room comes over watching hockey? And seriously? Who cares about a hockey game when we can peruse the paint chip aisles salivating over teals and aquas and sunshine yellows?
But here's the deal.
It is not his job to understand me.
That's my job. Just as it's his to understand himself and yours to understand you.
It is no more acceptable for me to ask him to go pick out paint colours when the Stanley Cup finals are on than it is for me to pout and shuffle about, maybe even pull out the vacuum in the middle of the game and ask him to lift his feet so I can vacuum the floor beneath them, especially when Crosby has the puck, just because I don't like his answer.
And no. But I might have wanted to...
See, here's the thing. Relationship takes work. And sometimes, I like to tell myself I'm doing all the work while he's watching hockey.
Quite frankly, that is a lie I am telling myself to build my list of resentments so that I can feel sorry for myself. Just because I can.
The thing about life though is that it is always present, always serving up opportunities to get aware and get growing through whatever is eating at my peace of mind -- as long as I am willing to stop blaming others for my unease. As long as I am willing to be 100% accountable for my own experience.
And that is something we humans do not like to do a lot of -- be 100% accountable for our own experiences.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you thought something like, "What is their problem?" Or, "If they'd just go 'A' to 'B' the way I want then everything would be just fine." Or, "Why do they have to be so ...? (fill in the blank)"
C'mon. Be honest with yourself.
Now, change the question. When did you last ask, "What is my problem here?" or, "What if I accept their A to B as not 'wrong' but simply different?" or, "What's in it for me to stay so rigid about ...... (fill in the blank). What can I do differently here?"
See, life gives us ample opportunity to grow and learn, to understand ourselves better. Life is filled with abundance. Often, we look at it through eyes focused on the other person's actions, words, thoughts, while we resist looking at our own. And in our resistance to looking deep within ourselves and being 100% accountable for our own journey, we forget, we have the power to know ourselves deeply and in that knowing, change our lives.
We'd much rather someone else changed theirs.
And so, we look at them and wonder why they don't understand us, when really, the lack of understanding of us is ours.
Life gave me a beautiful opportunity to look inside myself to find the root of my unease. It was a beautiful gift.Especially because, I like what I found in me!
The question is: Are you willing to be accountable for yourself?
This post originally appeared on Louise Gallagher's daily blog, Dare Boldly (www.dareboldly.com) Monday, June 6, 2016