For the past many years I have been on a journey toward self-actualization. I remember when I first heard of Maslow's triangle I was fascinated by the steps in the process. I was grateful for and humbled by the first two levels -- the fact that I had both physiological and safety needs met and the idea that there are people who don't always have access to them was the beginning of my voyage.
Photo Credit: thepeakperformancecenter.com
Moving on to psychological aspects, I knew that I needed to do some work with Belongingness and Love as well as Esteem. In fact, that's where I continue to devote my energy and attention and I truthfully feel like complete self-realization is always going to be "just on the horizon". In the meantime, I can celebrate and enjoy glimpses of my full potential.
Many years ago, one of my wise teachers mentioned that often when we are irritated by something we see in someone else, it's either something we've just started addressing in our own lives, or it's the next thing we need to look at. It might not be fun to first be annoyed by another person's behavior and then have to acknowledge that it might be triggered by one's own similar actions or perspective, but it can be powerful.
One thing I've noticed is that it is more beneficial to let go of my judgement of the other person. All too often, when someone really bugs me, I am inclined to jump right to disrespect and even disdain for them and their way of being. I can also want to adopt an attitude of superiority. What I've learned is that my ego is feeling threatened in these situations, mainly because it recognizes that I can too easily exhibit the same MO under similar circumstances.
While it might not feel like a "natural" response, with a little effort, I can turn around my arrogance and feel compassion. Almost always, just the desire to find some kindness and empathy for another person when I'm finding them obnoxious is an important first step. And, it's particularly significant because it puts me on the path toward self reflection and self-correction. It's not that we are fatally damaged or defective, however we are all works in progress and I want to always strive to improve.
This week's Monday Quote (MQ) was:
"Sometimes, when we need to heal something,
we'll first start seeing it in others. Pay attention
and start practicing having compassion for the
other person. It will serve you in your process."
This is where I need to go. This is part of what Mindful Self-Compassion incorporates in its teachings and what I've learned from it. This is what I wish for you.