“Everything that irritates us about others
can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
— Carl Jung
When I would see something in someone else that irritated me, I would think about it and go over the irritating part to bring attention to the wrongness of it and the stupidity of it and so on. I would sometimes spend time talking about it with others and seeking agreement that I was right in being irritated because having others agree gives my rightness credence and a certain authority. I would persecute the irritator as I played my game as the irritated victim.
Then one day, I decided to stop struggling with that and stop fighting with it and just let it go as if I was playing the game of tug-o-war and then just let go of the rope. What happened then was that first, I was feeling less irritated, and second I started seeing some human frailty, or fear. I began to question why I was feeling that way about that.
In that process, I began to see my need to be right and how I might even have my own issues with being irritable to others, and so developed just a tinge of compassion. But a really interesting thing happened that I still enjoy about this, and that is that I began loving that person. What was even more interesting was that their habit of irritating me dissolved and though I didn’t change their personality or habit, I no longer reacted to it. Indeed, I just began seeing through it and just loving them as a person regardless.
Even today, I look back at those people and still feel that love and appreciation of them as a person, and what used to irritate me, I did not like, but it served to show me how to understand myself better and to see beyond the surface in them and in me. For that, I am very grateful.
Ooops. . . My Humanity Is Showing. Yours Too?
Spread Some Joy Today–Loving them will make living with them easier and that love will wear down the most hardened of critics.