For the first time, I resolved not to make any NEW YEAR resolutions, I decided to ‘Take the life as it comes and offer minimal resistance to the things that come”. I started the first day of the year in this mode and mood. Thanks to my brothers(who are my best friends and best foes) who messed my day and made me to switch back to my original self. For a change, I surfed TV channels lazily and suddenly I happened to see a program in NDTV Good times in which Deepak Chopra was talking about “Happiness”. Me, not being a big a fan of Deepak Chopra thought of changing the channel, however thought I should not be judgmental and heard it. In yesterday’s episode, he was talking about the concept “The Mirror of Relationships”. I still somehow could not resist changing the channel..but these words made me stop and really stick to TV . The anchor asked religiously to Deepak Chopra “Why is that the people who/whom we love most happen to the people who hurt/ whom we hurt most? Can you explain this paradox?”
He said ” The mirror of relationship becomes an important tool for personal transformation and ultimately social change as well. There is one simple principle to follow: those that we love and are emotionally attracted to, and those that we are distressed or repelled by emotionally, are both mirrors of our own self. We are attracted to those people in whom we find traits that we have and we want more of and we are repelled by those in whom we find traits that we deny in ourselves.”
I was like “Whatttttttt!!!! is this person saying. How can this be VALID.
Deepak Chopra said :
Think of a person in your life, say a beloved aunt, or a public figure that you find immensely admirable. Write down the traits that you find attractive in them. You have these traits in you as well, but you only need to actualize and manifest them more in you life. Similarly, write down the traits of a person who distresses you emotionally. He or she is definitely not the person you want to spend the weekend in Hawaii with. Understand that these traits are contained in you also. They may not be obvious to you, but it is frequently obvious to others who know you well. These negative traits are brought to the surface when you are under stress. By becoming more aware of the traits we admire in others, we help augment and manifest those abilities in our own life. When we recognize that the characteristics that repel us in others are within us too, then we diffuse the power that those shadow traits hold on us in that state of denial. We accept the wholeness of ourselves in compassion and create a different relationship than before.
Years ago, I remember being confronted by a woman in a seminar who insisted on three hours of my time. I told her that in the midst of all the other people’s needs here, that it was not possible for me to give her that much of my personal time. She became furious and yelled, “Then why do you write books that say anything is possible?” Then she continued to verbally abuse me in front of the group. 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.
Once I accepted that I too had those traits in me, and was comfortable with the fact that I had both positive and negative qualities, I also become comfortable that the same is true of everyone else as well. We all are some combination of saint and sinner. This had two effects: I was not so judgmental about myself and, in turn, I was also less judgmental about others. Recognition of our shared humanity, with all its various displays, brings forth compassion. From that time forward, my relationship with this woman dramatically improved over the next few days. It wasn’t because I said or behaved differently but because I was no longer radiating, even in subtle form, those unpleasant traits. 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.
Despite knowing the nature of relationship and how it is a mirror in every moment, I can still find myself occasionally feeling personally offended or reacting with self-righteousness. However I’ve noticed over the years even when I strongly disagree with people and dislike what they do, there is less and less a dislike for them as individuals. I continue to find opportunities to learn how to separate disliking people’s actions from the people who perform those actions. This is slow patient work, but over time it has the cumulative effect of bringing more ease, comfort and spontaneity into every aspect of life. Don’t be too hard on yourself that you can’t change yourself instantly.
A useful exercise is to bring to mind those people who elicit in you a strong emotional charge one way or another. Write down all the positive and negative qualities that you have identified in them. (You may be attracted or repelled by a quality, but if there is no emotional charge associated with it, then it is not acting as a mirror for you.) Mix up all these pieces of paper with the various qualities written on them, put them in a circle, and underneath that circle write “that’s me.” Say to yourself “thank you God for making me so interesting.” The secret to accepting the world and changing it is to accept yourself as you are, right now, in all your diverse, contradictory splendor. With that acceptance comes compassion and gratitude, and from that change in the relationship and the world follows automatically.
(Source: http://knol.google.com/k/the-mirror-of-relationships# . Same examples and same stuff is picturized in an interesting manner in NDTV good times channel..am trying to google for a video of it..however I managed to post the message delivered in that episode).
I really liked the episode and for the first time felt that I need to check the stuff told by Deepak Chopra too 🙂 from now on wards. I started cleaning my mirror …so that it reflects nice reflections 😉