“Ninety-nine percent of what bothers you is about you. Ninety-nine percent of what bothers others has nothing to do with you.” – Deborah Adele, The Yamas and Niyamas
Have you ever met someone who didn’t like you? They do not even try to hide their eye rolling. Your attempts to be entertaining go over their head, and they blankly stare at you as if you are a crazy person. Then you think, “Shit, maybe I am a crazy person.” I encountered some people that didn’t like me recently. I felt as if I was being myself. I know my friends back home would have thought I was hilarious. Hell, I thought I was pretty hilarious at the time, but these folks weren’t keen on me too much. Surprisingly, this has bothered me a lot the past few days. I mulled over how I could have behaved differently, but I don’t think any other outcome was possible. I can only do what I do.
This whole situation reminded me of the television reality show, The Bachelor. A group of women spend a few days getting to know a guy, and spent a few more weeks crying over why he doesn’t love them. I used to watch it religiously in college, but one day I was just sick of it. All of these women are so busy crying over a guy who doesn’t love them, they forgot to ask themselves if they even like HIM.
Well, I don’t really like these people, but I was too busy mourning the fact they didn’t care for me to even ask myself what I thought of them. Boy, I do have A LOT of negative opinions about who they are. It’s easy to fall into the trap of, “I’m awesome. They suck. Moving on!” When we really study the self, we can find a better, though sometimes messier, resolution.
In Deborah Adele’s, The Yamas and Niyamas, she retells a story told in the East when God created humans. They kept praying to Him, asking Him for things, and He couldn’t get any rest. So, God talked to some elders who recommended that he hide in the mountains, on a cloud, or bury himself in the Earth. God, then got the idea that he would hide himself within every human, because that would be the last place they would look for Him. When we truly study ourselves, the people around us become mirrors. They show us our true nature. They show us the parts we don’t like, the parts we don’t acknowledge, and the parts we’ve never even met. I have openly rolled my eyes at people. I laughed at people who like to dance. I’ve been offended by someone’s innocent jokes. I have harshly judged someone based on their interests. I have lost patience with people. I have not liked someone because my friend didn’t like them. I have done all of these things that they have done to me. The purpose of all this self-examination isn’t to bring about shame and guilt. It is to see that all of these people are just like me: doing the best they know how, living they only way they can and still deserving of human compassion. The next time I find myself sad or angry because someone doesn’t like me, I’ll know it’s because I didn’t like someone showing me myself. Namaste.