What we see is what we are.
I was thinking today of anger, and people’s reactions to anger. Just like when someone says, “He who smelled it, dealt it,” the same can go for someone who sees a certain emotion or character in another.
We cannot see what we do not know at some level. If we have never experienced anger, we can’t recognize it in another. It would be foreign to us. So, if we see it, we are seeing something we know, and if we deny or turn our back on something we recognize, then we are doing the same to an aspect of ourselves.
When we turn away from someone’s anger because it is “unsafe,” or because we feel that anger is a “bad” emotion, then we are turning away from our self. When we reject another, we not only hurt that person, but we hurt ourselves, for we are telling ourselves that we are not okay if we feel anger (or any emotion/character one finds wrong).
Until we accept all of our parts, we cannot accept those characters and emotions in others. How do we reach acceptance and compassion?
We dig down into our humanity.
We are all born equal, and we are all a part of the human race. We all have struggles, and often we create them for ourselves, but can we judge anyone for that? Judging someone for creating their own struggles really is an act of creating our own struggle with accepting the people around us. Can you see the never-ending cycle?
So, an element of humility is necessary, I feel, for we must be able to admit that we ARE what we SEE, no matter how “bad” we think that is. We first need to have this humility and acceptance of ourselves as plain old human beings. None of us are better than any other.
Then, we can take that compassion toward ourselves and turn it outward to the rest of humanity, to the people who exist in the human condition right alongside us.
Next time you experience an aversion to someone, ask yourself what is it you are turning away from? Next, look at that aspect of yourself. How do you judge that emotion or character? Then, work on compassion for yourself, which will become compassion for others.