At this time of year we often think about how ‘next year will be different’, and make decisions to alter ourselves, or our direction.
When we choose to make changes we often don’t follow through on these changes, sometimes because they’re not natural to us and sometimes because we think they are having no effect.
When we send our desires out to the Universe for answers, reassurance or change, the response comes in many different forms; sometimes it comes as an inner knowing, other times we feel like we are getting no response whatsoever.
It is during these latter times that the observation of what is going on around you is helpful in showing you the response that it trying to get through to you.
If it’s not coming through you, it will be coming to you – So, take a moment to be mindful of what is going on around you, what is your environment telling you?
It might be time to revisit some old wisdom and look at the role of others in our lives, and our role in their lives:
What Others Do for Us (and we do for them):
This is when the external is reflecting back to you – the information being reflected back to you may be present, or past, behaviours/attitudes you have, or have had.
This type of mirroring can be very educational for self development. It is commonly believed that what is being mirrored to you is what you still have to learn or what you are still resolving within yourself, however, I believe this is untrue.
Those around you may mirror your issues, and challenges, to allow you to learn what you need to learn, and see what you need to see, about yourself. Alternatively, they may mirror the aspects of Self that you have had in the past, and have already resolved. When this happens it is an opportunity to make different choices in the company you keep, or, have compassion for those that are still learning.
For example; if you have, in the past, been an avid gossip, and you no longer gossip, but those around you do, then this is the opportunity to notice how you’ve changed, question whether the company you keep is still nourishing company for you or aid those that still gossip in seeing how beautiful it is to not gossip.
Honesty with the Self is very important in determining what the mirroring is showing you – because you may feel that you’ve resolved something when you really haven’t. Being truthful about who you are and what your actions are is very important, in the end there is nothing to be gained from lying to the self!
Some of our most valuable teachers don’t teach by example, they teach by being what it is we are determined not to be or by illustrating how certain poor behaviours are so detrimental to relationships that we stop doing them ourselves.
This is when people highlight, or illuminate, your behaviours, habits and traits by their actions towards you, showing you how you are perceived and what remains within that you no longer identify with. Illuminating is different to mirroring in that their behaviour is not showing you your habits, beliefs and actions (past or present) but their responses are showing you how you are coming across, ie, illuminating aspects of your behaviour, habits, beliefs, interpersonal skills that may need re-assessment in order to have the relationships and encounters that you desire.
For example; perhaps you are making jokes that you feel are self deprecating yet people are responding to you as though you have no self love, then perhaps they are illuminating for you the defence mechanism you have of self deprecating humour, where you will deprecate the self before anyone else does?
It comes down to truth with the Self, what are their responses showing you? Are they showing you the deeper levels of healing the Self that need to happen? or are they simply showing you their own issues?
This is when others project their issues onto you. Projecting usually happens when others decide that your responses or actions must mean something based upon their own experiences, not based upon your intentions or reasons for the responses or actions.
Projecting is something that happens a lot, and is quite often used to manipulated the person being projected upon, or protect the person doing the projecting.
For example; in a situation where you are having a conversation the person projecting may decide that your comments about something mean you are ‘a certain type of person’, and that person is not someone they would have compatibility with, however, what is really happening is that they are making judgement based upon what you have said and projecting upon you the meaning they have given it. This is perhaps to protect them and keep them from getting hurt somehow, or it is to manipulate you by putting you on the defensive.
Our Role in Interactions:
In all our interactions we need to have our eyes open (metaphorically) and discern what is the truth here, what is it that is being shown, what is really being said, done, illustrated for us? Look beyond the words, and have compassion for what you may need to learn from the exchange, or what the other is showing about themselves.
Recognize there are lessons, learning and growth opportunities in every interaction, and with discernment and clarity as to your role, your contribution and what may be other’s issues, recognise what those opportunities may be.
Appologise where necessary, move on where necessary; open your mind, let go, forgive and move on.
If you recognise that you were at fault, apologise and, without diminishing the self, make rectification. If you have apologised and made rectification – always whilst being true to the Self, this is not about humiliation or debasement – then move on from the issue, move forward with (or on from) the relationship, move on from the guilt, shame, blame and be the better You.