I have to admit that I spent much of my school years feeling really lonely. Though I had a few close friends here and there, I had a really hard time making new friends. Okay, that’s an understatement. For about an eight-year span, I didn’t make any friends at all. Part of this was because of my introverted nature, and part of this was because of a very simple, yet prominent Universal truth that I didn’t understand; like attracts like.
I have learned that there are three people in life that you will meet. Ones you are neutral to, ones you love and ones who you, well… strongly dislike.
Neutral: Some people you meet, you quickly forget. They make no real impression on you one way or another. Generally this is because those people are functioning on a very different frequency than you are. They mirror no significant part of you.
Love: The people you meet and instantly ‘click’ with are generally those who are most like you—the “good” parts of you, anyways. The parts of yourself that you have consciously acknowledged and accepted. These people may share your lovable quirks and idiosyncrasies, your humour, your disposition, basically any part of yourself that you see as a positive.
Hate: Then there are those who you meet and have a strong negative reaction to. The reason why we dislike these people is not because they are so different from us, it’s that they are so similar.
Think of someone in your life that you can’t stand. Ask yourself why that is. Maybe it’s because they’re selfish, arrogant, annoying, awkward or just plain offensive. Now, try to entertain the idea, if only for a moment, that the reason you can’t stand them is because there is a part of you that can be just like that…
There is a part of you that can be just like that.
When I first contemplated this idea, I wanted to reject it. It’s a humbling realization, but if it weren’t true, that person wouldn’t affect me one way or the other. Deepak Chopra shared a similar experience, when he met a woman at a seminar who verbally assaulted him in front of a group of people:
“Later when I had a moment alone, I thought that because of the emotional effect this had on me that something is going on here that I should look at more closely. I wrote down all those traits about her that bothered me. I listed: rudeness, impatience, anger, aggressiveness, and being demanding. I phoned my wife, told her what I was doing and asked if she ever noticed these traits in me. There was a long silence on the other end. In that moment I realized that I too could display every one of those unpleasant traits when I was under pressure
The world we experience is a projection of our consciousness, with all of these different positive and negative qualities. So when we transform our consciousness through insight, and compassion, we change that projection of the world and that means our experience and relationships change as well.”
There are many parts of the self. Some of them we accept more easily than others. Some parts of the self we are completely unconscious to. Carl Jung termed this our shadow aspect. When we meet people we hate, they are the mirror into parts of our shadow that we have yet to acknowledge. The Universe is calling to attention a part in yourself you would otherwise ignore.
The Universe is a tenacious force. If you don’t recognize yourself in that person, you will meet that same type of person again and again and again. This is why when interpersonal drama erupts you must remove your ego; reject the urge to bitch. Reject the momentary satisfaction you will get from complaining about how you’ve been wronged—such pointless dramas only stifle your growth and detract you from the real issue at hand. The Universe has brought that person to your attention so you can evolve in consciousness. Instead of being spiteful, be aware and be grateful for the opportunity!
When you meet someone who rubs you the wrong way, identify what exactly it is about them that you dislike. Then either accept those things in yourself, or change those things in yourself. Once you ignite love from within, that person won’t affect you the same way. You might even learn that you actually, really like them.
Looking back, it’s no surprise that the times when I was at the most inner turmoil, were the times I have been the most judgmental of others. I responded to life the same way that I responded to myself; with constant criticism. I used to wonder why I never met anyone who I clicked with. I see now that it was because I wasn’t giving the Universe much to work with; there weren’t a lot of parts of myself I loved that could be mirrored back to me. How many friendships I must have missed out on because I didn’t accept myself! I’d like to say that I wish I’d realized this all sooner, but I know that this is a lesson I had to learn the hard way.
When you become more accepting of all parts of yourself, you automatically become more loving and accepting of others. You must first have peace with yourself before you will have peace with others. Imagine if more people employed self-awareness in place of hatred, how that might filter into more macrocosmic aspects of society: families, schools, cities, countries. If humanity is to consciously evolve into a more peaceful species, the place to start is within YOU.
“Each individual is responsible for the rise and the decline of the entire world.” – Confucius
“Nothing brings down walls as surely as acceptance” – Deepak Chopra
Affirmation for World Peace: I love and accept myself exactly as I am. (repeat 10 times, as many times throughout the day as you remember)