If you are willing to look at another person’s behaviour towards you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time cease to react at all.
What a liberating statement that is! I believe one of the major challenges that many people come up against is their reaction to other people’s behaviour. We can end up being crushed by it, we can personalise it, we can go on to project it to others and ultimately we can have the potential to be defined by it.
I believe that if we can learn to trust that the behaviour of another really is a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves then we can begin to release ourselves from a whole heap of unnecessary pain. In my experience it takes a little bit of commitment in understanding who we really are to achieve that.
I am not sure that the projection of another in any way defines our own value unless we allow that; if, for example, we suffer from poor self worth we can get caught in a trap of wanting constant external reassurance and sometimes it is the people that are cruel to us that we hope will give us back our worth; my sense is it is quite possible we are seeking our worth from the wrong source. I am not entirely convinced that someone that projects something negative has a huge amount of self worth; therefore it would make it very difficult for them to authentically give that to you if they don’t possess it themselves.
I will try to give this some context. Take, for example, someone that has been given a lot of negative messages as a child from one or both of their parents; this could have been either emotionally or physically or both. That person has undoubtedly had to work through the fall out of those experiences and rewire the messages that were drummed in to them as a child, or not. I think this is where human nature and life in general gets quite interesting. It would appear generally speaking that people struggle to totally move on from those negative messages understandably stuck in a place where they feel devalued and worthless because that is what they were shaped to believe. The knock on effect can manifest in many different ways; some ways we can relate to and some ways not.
I would personally challenge that it does not have to be like that! What I do believe is those messages take us away from who we really are. They are not messages about us they are messages that are given to us; there is a huge difference. If you were to imagine a child being kicked and kicked over and over again by their father, would you stand there and say ‘yes that child deserves to be kicked and kicked over and over again it is totally about them’ or would you not perhaps wonder what made the father become so damaged that he thought that it was okay on any level to project that damage on to his child; a child that he had brought in to the world to love, nurture, encourage and teach?
My sense is that when someone is being cruel, unfair or is projecting any other negative behaviour it might be worth considering that they are very likely hurting and to somehow rid themselves of that hurt they attempt to pass it on. I am absolutely certain that is not the most effective or sustainable plan of action in achieving a sense of balance and contentment within or without. Sadly it doesn’t stop people so therefore we are only really left with our own actions and reactions.
This is where the choice comes in. Perhaps not for the child, sadly, because a child is, to a degree, powerless; but for you as an adult may be consider that when you come up against a challenge with another person, although it is most likely triggering some painful memory, you are in actual fact being given an opportunity to work through the past and finally let go of it. By understanding that another’s behaviour is a reflection of the relationship they have with themselves you could take the view that you are being shown an alternative that just perhaps any negative projections really are not about you and never ever were, you were just misshaped to believe that was the case.
I know for sure that being devalued at any level can set us on a quest to find our value and we have a tendency to look to others for that. It is hardly surprising that is the case for if the very people that brought us in to the world devalued us then those messages are naturally going to become mixed up and we may associate love with pain and pain with love. What I do believe is that we have to find our own value and that comes from within; by learning to love who we are, and I know that can absolutely happen when we cease to react to the projection of others, then we may just set ourselves free to be much more open to experiencing a life and connections that are far more aligned in working with us rather than against us.
My personal stance when I experience the more negative sides of human nature is to look at myself and what that brings up for me; that’s not to say it does not hurt or cause pain, it does, but there is very little I can do to control what someone else is doing. What I can control is my own actions/reactions to a situation; I have not always got it right but I have certainly been open to learning from those experiences so that I can grow and expand as a person rather be minimised and extinguished. Ultimately when someone behaves badly I truly do believe that it is as a direct result of how they view themselves.
No-one deserves to be treated badly and equally no-one has the right to treat another badly; it is our responsibility as adults to develop a healthy relationship firstly with ourselves and then we can go on to do the same with others. What I can’t stress enough is how debilitating it is to spend a life holding back and not living because people are cruel. All you are really doing is hurting yourself and giving power to an abuse of power; it is far more empowering to put your energy in to you. There are always going to be cruel people in the world but see them as your teachers; for how would we learn compassion, forgiveness and kindness if we did not experience the polarity of that.
It really is as simple as choosing one way of being or another. It is totally in our hands to turn our experiences in to a positive that impact people in a good way; as opposed to projecting something more negative in the hope that it gives some sort of protection against vulnerability. In a nutshell It doesn’t, all it does is makes for a very unhappy and soulless life with out any real connection to anything or anyone that has any value or meaning.
Allow that vulnerability to show, because when you unlock that you will unlock more than you ever thought was possible. Stop giving power to something that is not a reflection of your worth even if at one time in your life that was a notion that may have been challenged. That time does not exist anymore; feeding the past with fear keeps it alive and continues to reinforce your present experiences in the negative. Always know that when someone hurts you it’s because they are most probably hurting themselves show courage, compassion, forgiveness and kindness because that is the beginning of the journey to self love, and I do believe, from that, healthy external love can not fail to grow.
And one last thought….if you cease to feed something bad it can not grow….but if you offer nourishment then you will see that so much more can start to flourish!