Today, I had an exchange with someone close to me in my life, that left me feeling hurt, confused and reeling about how to handle it and what should come next. We were expressing our thoughts and feelings, in a private email message, which left much up to interpretation and potential misunderstanding. And, to add to it all, I was taking it all WAY too personally. Why was this loved one lashing out at me in this way? What have I done to deserve this?
Then, I began my day of training, covering a topic that I am fiercely passionate about, yet also brings up feelings of negativity and misunderstanding, and our trainers were quick to advise us about QTIP: Quit Taking It Personally.
In that instant, I saw how that sneaky devil of my Ego had been hard at work.
I am becoming much more aware of my Ego, which is always present, more than I ever have been earlier in my life. My Ego is the first to complain about how I am being treated; how I have been wronged; how the other person is the one that needs to evolve, grow up or get over him or herself, because what they are doing, saying or thinking is bothering me.
In other words, whatever is going on with him or her, I make about ME.
It is natural, right? As human beings, we have been programmed through our social process to think for ourselves, and think OF ourselves. Self preservation; self determination; self esteem; self knowledge. While I applaud and aspire to expand in and on all of these areas of self, I still do, more often than I like, go into the area of making many things that express another person’s process not about what they must be going through. No, I make it about what it is doing to ME.
There it is again.
When my emotional response to this interaction had died down a bit, I was able to connect with the deeper desire within myself, that is always there but masked at times behind what I need, wanting to know what was going on with her. What is it that is bringing on this much pain and anger in another person? What part of it can I be supportive and helpful with, if any? What do I need to own?
So, while I want to keep catching myself where I can, in expanding on my own growth and evolution, I want to always be wary when I want to go to how badly someone else is MAKING me feel. That is a trap. For, we all have a choice, of how we want to handle the impact of circumstances in our lives. There may be some circumstances, although not many, from my perspective, that we cannot control. HOWEVER, we can ALWAYS control how we have them impact, or not, on us.
How a person acts with or responds to me, says everything about them and nothing about me. Truly. And, as long as I can believe that, and say and feel it with love and compassion for the experiences of others, then I am on my way to taming the Ego and yet, knowing the Self.