They don’t like us enough, they don’t say the right things, they have the wrong opinions, interest, wishes, they act selfishly, recklessly or they don’t act at all… The list goes on.
Sometimes they have really and seriously hurt us. That’s a tough one.
We already know that we can’t change others. As much as we want it, we can’t. But that doesn’t stop us from trying. Make a quick –and honest– estimate of how much effort you have wasted in trying to change, convince or even force others into doing, being, saying, thinking etc what you want them to. (I know, we’d rather not be reminded.)
Now make a quick estimate of how many people have tried to make you change into something they wanted you to be. Did they succeed?
So there we are with the sadness, anger, worry, frustration that others seem to be so good at creating in us. I don’t know of any area that creates so much emotion as “others”.
Feelings are emotional reactions to a situation. We have the reactions we have because of how we are conditioned. (By culture, time period, society, parents, education, inclinations, peers etc).
If you were to peel away all conditioning, what would be left? What feelings would you have?
You can find out by paying attention to what you feel and when. You won’t learn anything by refusing certain feelings, by blaming others, by complaining about them or hating them – as tempting as it may be…
A more fruitful approach would be gratefulness. But that’s for the advanced class.
So when a feeling like sadness knocks on your door, what do you do? You feel it! When anger knocks on your door? You feel it! Hate, fear, worry? You FEEL it, without judging yourself or others, without blaming. Just feel the feeling.
Your feelings are showing you something and it isn’t what seems obvious. It isn’t, for example, showing you that others are wrong and you are right or vice versa.
You don’t even need to find a cause for your feelings, you just need to feel them, and not hold on to them. Don’t make them stay. Don’t make them go away. Invite them all. Accept the gift but don’t hold on to it.
Your feelings are perfect. You couldn’t have any other feelings than the ones you have in any given moment. By feeling your feelings and embracing them you learn about yourself and others.
By blaming others and making them the problem you only get stuck in an endless spiral of who’s right and who’s wrong. Don’t give others power over your emotions. That’s giving up your freedom. You are perfect the way you are. You are your own.
One love, many disguises.