Look In The Mirror

If you’re not ready to accept what’s in this post, that’s OK; read it anyway, put it in the background, and ignore it as long as you need to.

What you don’t like about someone else is what you don’t like about yourself. (This is a subset of “you can’t love someone else until you learn to love yourself,” a lovely piece of kitch I’m still evaluating.)

What I find annoying in someone else is always, always something I find annoying in myself. I’m sure I heard it before, but the first time I really remember hearing it was in a Landmark seminar. I had just done the introductory course, the Landmark Forum, and was with a hundred or so others who had as well. Visiting that evening was someone who’d been around for a few years–14, if memory serves–giving us all this advanced crap and straight talk we weren’t ready for. At least I wasn’t ready for it.

Well, it’s been most of 6 years since I did the Landmark Forum. Like slowly stepping into a hot tub, I’ve acclimated myself to the idea of looking at my own (perceived) failings when I see them in others.

The barrier to being willing to accept this point of view was the hatred–I mean serious, destructive, hatred–I carried towards those parts of myself I didn’t like. I don’t know how you get over that except to forgive yourself. The only way I’ve found, consciously, to forgive myself, is to have an ontological crisis about it. I do not recommend creating ontological crises where you don’t have to.

Maybe meditating on forgiveness will help? I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions. (Note to self: I need to get email working on this site so y’all can sign up and post comments. Sorry I don’t have that working yet. It’s on the list.)

Anyway, the main point of this post, the reason I’m posting it, is to give everyone permission not to deal with things in these terms if you’re not ready to. It is absolutely OK to put this off. Take your time.

But if it wasn’t already, it is in your mind now, and it is eventually going to become part of your reality. You are going to start seeing yourself in others, and others in yourself. And to preserve your own sanity, you will need to take measures to change your perception of yourself and others: improve yourself, forgive yourself; improve others, forgive others.

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