What Does Finger Pointing, Mirrors, and Soup Have in Common?

In a recent speech given at my Toastmasters group, the speaker mentioned when you point your finger the other 4 fingers are pointing back at you. Can you admit when you are wrong? Can you back up from a situational order to truly see the part you played in it?

Sometimes when we are emotionally invested in a situation we cannot open our awareness to our role in that situation. I have a wise friend who refers to it as being in the soup. I like this analogy. It makes sense that when you are looking down into the bowl from the outside, you can see what is a carrot and what is a potato. When you are in the soup though, the broth obscures everything and it is harder to discern what is really around you.

This morning I heard a story about a mother, who in her heart of hearts wants to protect her son. She wrote email to the school complaining about the “bullying” that was occurring and how her son was a victim of it. Apparently, what her son did not share with her was that he was doing the same behavior to his friends. So, when we are outside of the soup and look at this behavior, we see that if he was being bullied he was also bullying. How could this backfire for this child? His mother’s best intentions could cause him to also suffer the consequences the school has for bullies. What he and his friends see as horseplay could have serious ramifications for all of them. Think about how this might apply to our own life. Are there situations where we complain about others doing things that we do as well at times?

There is a concept that others are mirrors for us. That those traits we notice in others, that really upset us, are actually things we need to work on personally. Does it annoy you when someone dominates the conversation, only talks about themselves, drives aggressively, is very negative, makes irresponsible decisions, drinks too much or whatever it is? Think about your interactions with others. Try and do it in a nonjudgmental and accepting way. See if you may also be doing this same behavior. Perhaps that person who annoys you is a mirror for you. Perhaps this is a gift to you to help give you some awareness of yourself and your actions. Do not use this as an opportunity to beat yourself up or judge yourself poorly. Rather, use it as an opportunity to move forward and become a little more tolerant and a little more the person you hope to be.

Remember when you are in the soup and upset about something, step back, take a look around you and see what is really going on. When you are pointing the finger at others, keep note of how many are pointing back at you.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your life be full of wisdom to see situations from many different angles. I love you.

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