Do you find yourself irritated or frustrated with characteristics or traits of a friend or family member? Do you wish they would change that behavior or lose that trait?
If that is the case, you should know about the Mirror Theory…..
“What we dislike in others is also what we dislike about ourselves. People act like mirrors, reflecting us and giving us a chance to see who we are. You may think that your boss is too demanding with you. But maybe you too are very demanding and perfectionist with yourself. Your boss, in this case, is just a reflection of how you are with yourself.” (https://exploringyourmind.com/mirror-theory-wounds-relationships/)
I have read about this and many of my mentors and spiritual teachers have talked about this. It’s something that I now think about when I get annoyed with people I am close to. Over the years I notice that some of those traits of others are not as annoying as they were at one time. My thoughts and words have begun to react differently than maybe a month or a year ago. From my understanding, this is progress and referred to as “evolution of consciousness.”
This excerpt from Deepak Chopra’s “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire” explains it in a simple way….
“So if you are having a strong negative reaction to someone, you can be sure that they possess some traits in common with you, traits that you are not willing to embrace. If you were willing to accept those qualities, then they wouldn’t upset you.”
Hmmmmm….that is definitely something to think about.
Over the years I become more aware of what I’m feeling and how I react. I admit that I am not always proud of or even slightly pleased with my reactions. Yet, I am getting better at being grateful for the situations that get those negative reactions out of me. I realize now that it has obviously brought something to the surface that I should address. As long as I remain aware and refrain from blaming others as my excuse or reason to defend my “not so pretty” reaction, I consider that progress.
It can take time, awareness and practice for us to have no reaction and not feel annoyed. But don’t most things that we want to change in our lives take time, awareness and practice? What if we continue to look in the mirror and think about what triggered us in situations? Can we do that without judging ourselves? What if some of our so called “flaws” can also be considered our “strengths or virtues?” I believe that is progress.
When you notice you are irritated or annoyed with others, look in the mirror, be honest and notice if you possess a bit of those same traits that you react negatively to. Are they mirroring these traits to you as a way to help you grow? How would it feel to reflect acceptance and love to each other with or without those characteristics? Is it possible they are doing us a small favor by annoying us?
We cannot be responsible for anyone’s actions or reactions. We are only responsible for our own. I don’t think any of us likes to think we carry those traits that annoy us, but maybe there is something to this Mirror Theory.
Once again, it all begins with us.