Not too long ago, I went out with a friend for a couple drinks to kind of relax and unwind. On my way home, I felt like something was going on inside of me. Something just wasn’t quite right. It’s like the energy was draining out of me, yet I couldn’t figure out exactly why.
The more I thought about it the more I realized that I was slightly agitated about some things I had to do over the weekend. You know how it feels when you’ve had a long week at work and all you want to do is relax, but your Saturday and Sunday are booked with errands, chores, and other must-be-done tasks? That’s how I felt. I just wanted a day to chill out, spend time around the house with family, and not have to be anywhere at any certain time.
I could tell that my agitation was causing me to want to be short with those around me, so I worked hard to make sure I didn’t approach it all wrong. I even called a friend to talk about how I was feeling and figure out why I was having these negative feelings toward the people in my life who really didn’t have anything to do with the situation at all. The last thing I wanted to do was make matters worse.
After talking with him for a while, I realized that I really wasn’t angry at anyone else. In fact, the person I was most angry at was myself. I was angry that I had agreed to take on more than I wanted that particular weekend. I was upset with myself for once again giving more than I realistically had to give.
We have a saying in my men’s group that goes like this: “If you spot it, you got it.” In other words, if you’re angry or upset at someone else, it’s likely a reflection of how you feel about yourself. It’s all about what is going on inside you, not necessarily about anything that is happening directly with them.
It’s kind of like when you get mad at a friend for lying to you or betraying your trust for a second, third, fourth, or tenth time. Although you’re certainly disappointed in them for how they are mistreating you, the reality is that the person you’re more angry at is yourself. You’re angry that you trusted them again, even though every fiber in your being was telling you not too.
Think about the people in your life right now that you have strong negative feelings when you simply picture them in your mind. Now ask yourself what makes you feel that way? Specifically, what is going on inside of you that is causing that type of response?
Oftentimes you will discover that your feelings toward them are actually feelings you have toward yourself that you’re simply reflecting onto them. This recognition makes it easier to change how you feel and it also keeps you from blaming something on others when what the person you truly have the problem with is yourself.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a situation where you realized that your feelings toward others were really feelings you had toward yourself? I’d love to hear about it so feel free to comment below!