Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another, is also in you.
I am reading a wonderful book by Eckhart Tolle called A New Earth. Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. This month’s focus is on childlike enthusiasm. It seemed like an obvious choice. But everything in the book keeps circling back to self awareness, not necessarily just enthusiasm. There are several little highly relatable gems like: If you think you are so enlightened, go spend a week with you parents. I also really liked how he compared people to ducks. Tolle talks about how after ducks fight, they flap their wings vigorously to release the surplus energy pent up in the fight than they float away peacefully. But people keep the fight going sometimes for years by thinking about the conflict until the memory morphs into weighty emotional baggage.
Tolle’s underlying message is not unique. He finds a new way to say what so many spiritual leaders have preached before him. Forgiveness. Letting go of attachments. Giving up divisive labels. According to Tolle, you can’t enthusiastically embrace your true purpose if your unconscious. Makes sense, right? You have to be present. You have to show up. He also talks about how easily it is to spot someone who isn’t engaged in the now, but not as easy to see yourself as checked out.
Which brought about a realization that I am known as the person who never answers her phone. My husband has complained about it for years. My mother in law made a snarky comment on speaker phone the other day when she didn’t realize I was in the room. I never really thought it was that big of a deal until yesterday when I missed an important opportunity to talk to my brother. He was leaving for what is at the very least an intimidating and lonely journey. I will spare you the gory details, but he needed me and I wasn’t there.
mother of one of my daughter's friends also just flaked on us for the umpteenth time and didn’t answer her phone or texts. She is so warm and friendly when you are with her, which makes this behavior that much more puzzling. My mental checklist when she was a no-show/ no-answer included: Is she screening her calls? Did I say something to offend her? Did I get the day wrong? Is she okay? Is she really that busy? Is she really that self absorbed?
Now I know how my brother must have felt. Tolle might say that people like me are missing more than important calls, they may just miss their calling.
Is your ringer turned on or off?