I want to clarify something; especially after my recent post about the people that we 'attract' into our lives or situations we find ourselves in mirroring back to us parts of ourselves.
In my own journey I have used mirrors to identify my own patterns and I have got better and better at owning my 'stuff'; subconscious stories or wounds that are playing out to be healed or to be attended to and unmet needs that are determining my path, choices and actions. I have found it empowering to be able to reflect on situations and see how I contributed to them so that I can take ownership in ensuring that I do not CHOOSE on some level of my being to go to that place again. It can be wise, beneficial, healing and life-changing.
But, nothing is ever black and white and whenever other people are involved there is always our stuff going on and their stuff going on. We bring 50% of the stuff to a table and whilst there are some common relationship scenarios and patterns repeating themselves, quite likely needing to be looked at, there might be things going on that are just not ours to own.
It can be dangerous and even disempowering to assume too much responsibility and when we feel that we have really done the work to stop a pattern from repeating and then when it seems to come around again it is beyond disheartening. It is important to consider that there may be something else going on here.
I have personally found that at times I am being tested when an old story or situation reappears in my life - as if to check if I have really learnt something and to see if I am going to entertain it again. I have been able to make a choice here - whether to say yes or to say no. It has been a great opportunity to make a powerful declaration on what I am going to choose for my life. It has been in these times when I have said no to a re-run that I have then seen a sudden change in what comes next. The universe is listening.
On other occasions when the past seems to reappear it is not necessarily a mirror this time or a test but actually just life unfolding as it does and, again, our chance to decide whether we go back into something that has already been resolved or go forward into a new free future that looks different to the past.
We can look inwards to discern when something is on us and when it is on someone else and actually for us to have no business in.
One tool that I have found has been helpful for me to discern this is a 'f*ck you letter'.
If I am angry at someone and I want to know if it is my stuff or it is theirs to see if I need to look at my own unresolved anger and unmet needs and discern whether this anger or sadness is really at someone from the past or in fact myself or whether I would be fair and wise to call them out on what has happened in the present situation and in this real time situation, this is what I do.
I write a letter to this person, not to be sent, with every sentence starting with 'f*ck you.' Actually, I often first do a bit of release 'raging'/crying, if that's how I feel, into a pillow or outside in nature, to really get out the uncensored truth of how I feel and might say this out loud and then write the letter.
F*ck you (their name) for underestimating me.
F*ck you (their name) for not choosing me.
F*ck you (their name) for not seeing my treasure.
F*ck you (their name) for cheating on me.
F*ck you (their name) for being a coward and not being honest with me.
Once I am done I rewrite/type it but change the 'you' in f*ck you to 'me'.
F*ck me for underestimating me.
F*ck me for not choosing me.
F*ck me for not seeing my treasure.
F*ck me for cheating on me.
F*ck me for being a coward and not being honest with me.
This is where the clarity generally comes. Some of the reasons are just 'BAM that's me!' Some of them are both - but probably come from our projection if we are also like this with ourselves! And some of them are just the other person and are things that we can hopefully non-violently but firmly raise with that person to resolve in the present moment so that they don't create blocks in the relationship and lay down our boundary, if we don't want to leave them altogether.
I think we know, deep down, when it's us. We just need the courage to look at and listen - and then take action on it.
Mirrors are so useful.
What mirrors are not is an excuse for not holding people accountable. They are not about not calling people out on their bullshit, or about spiritually bypassing and being all 'I should not judge/I should forgive/I should be oh so kind always' and so letting ourselves getting walked over or practising 'idiot compassion' without discernment - and which ultimately isn't kind anyway. This isn't authentic and it isn't helpful. And it often enables codependent relationships. No, no. I've done that in the past at work, at home and in relationships and it really f*cked me over, got me nowhere and left me less empowered than when I started on my quest for freedom.
It's about looking in and seeing what is ours to own, and what is ours to say 'not my sh*t' to and move on.
Sometimes, its nothing to do with us as to why we have attracted something. Sometimes, SH*T HAPPENS. Not everything happens for a neat and symbolic reason - 'everything happens for a reason' is actually just more spiritual bypass that only helps to delay, misguide or even hurt people that have to endure horrendous atrocities or traumas. Sometimes, things just don't work out. Sometimes, we will never know. Sometimes, we need to cry and it is important to feel every emotion so that they can be honoured, listened to, grieved and then released instead of trapped inside as cancer waiting to happen. Sometimes, we need to laugh, or go out and dance.
But, ALWAYS, what we can be sure of, is that we end up with ourselves and, always, we can create and write our own stories from the hands that we are dealt - even if that means that there are now severe limitations on them or we start from being surrounded in wreckage and fire.
Let's take responsibility for ourselves but not take on more responsibility than we are due as, let's face it, accepting our own is enough of a challenge.