Sometimes we need help in even realizing what it is that we need to accept in ourselves. One good tool is to recognize if there is anything in anyone else that you can’t stand. I mean, you really, really don’t like. “When I get around this person, I hate it when they act like that!” or “I don’t know what it is, but I really despise that person.” If you can relate to this, you have just discovered a wonderful gift. Here it is: Whatever trait we are not yet willing to accept in our own lives is the same trait we cannot stand to be around in others. That is big.
Begin to ask yourself what you can’t stand in others and ask yourself where it is also in your life.
For example, “I can’t stand being around Jimmy. He is so pompous and thinks he knows everything.” Where does this show up in your life? Where do you portray self-righteousness and overcompensate with too much pride? “Well, hold on a second,” you might say. “What if I can’t stand physical abusers? Are you saying I am a physical abuser? I don’t abuse people!” Well, isn’t physical abuse an ultimate form of disrespect? Are you disrespecting anyone in your life that you need to get a gut check on?
Or how about, “I can’t stand racists! I’m not a racist!” That may be true; however, what is racism? It is ignorance. It is a lack of self-acceptance. It may be a sign of unforgiveness because they were hurt by someone in that race. It is disrespect. It is hate. Which trait do you need to work on?
Just because you recognize the trait in someone doesn’t mean you haven’t accepted yourself in this area. What you are looking for is a strong emotional charge that leaves you very angry or stressed when you interact with them based on the trait they portrayed. This is your sign that you have the opportunity for growth.
You know you have figured it out once you are put in that situation again. You will recognize it as something you don’t like; however, your emotional charge to it is gone. You will know you have mastered this tool when you see everyone as works in progress, including yourself, especially yourself.
This also works in a positive, reaffirming way. Whatever you admire in others is what you want more of in your life. The next time you get inspired by someone or by a movie actor, for example, what character traits did that person or movie actor portray? How do those same character traits measure up in your life? This is an awesome tool. So remember this wonderful gift: Whatever you admire in others is what you seek more of for yourself.
We are all on the path of self-growth whether you recognize it or not.
When you can’t stand something in someone else, it is your opportunity to grow. When you are inspired, it is your opportunity to grow. We all go through the same lessons eventually. How fast you want to get what you want is up to you. How fast you want to grow through these pillars of self-growth is up to you. The reason we are able to see someone who is not responsible, for example, is because we had that trait in ourselves and we had to learn the pillar of self-responsibility.
We are all on the path of self-growth whether you recognize it or not. The fast track is up to you. The reason recovered drug addicts can pick out other drug addicts so easily is because they have gone through it themselves. As we go through life, we can see others’ shortcomings as aggravations and become self-righteous, or we can see others’ shortcomings as opportunities to relate and help them if they want it.