What would your thoughts and feelings be if someone were to skip you in line at the supermarket, at the bank, or while you’re waiting to fill up on gas? What would they be if your significant other seems to be taking you for granted or does something that you know he/she knows is something you really don’t like? What about if your closest friend says something hurtful about you without even noticing what it’s doing to you? What do you imagine you’d be feeling and thinking in these situations? How would you respond? Would your initial response be directed towards that person or toward yourself or would you not have a response to any of it at all?
Some people would respond to situations like these by taking it out on the other person, whereas others would simply let it go, go on with their lives, not giving it much thought after that. In both of these cases, these people would most likely experience similar situations elsewhere. The reason for this is that in both of the aforementioned responses, they didn’t address why they’re having this experience in the first place. The first response’s result would probably be an escalation of their current situation, making it worse than it was before, and bringing about more unwanted experiences for themselves later on. And the second response was to just ignore the whole thing altogether, which also means ignoring and not allowing their own helpful messages to come through for them.
In either scenarios it would go downhill from there. Just that ignoring the situation altogether would actually be the worse of the two. Think about it; what would happen over a period of time to your pets, children and/or spouse if you completely ignored them and didn’t give them any attention at all? How would they behave? What might they be feeling because of your doing this to them? What other situations would this lead to? What kind of relationship would this create between the two of you?
Ideally what we want to be asking ourselves in situations like these or similar ones that tend to bring up not the best of feelings for us isn’t “What’s wrong with the other person doing these annoying things?” but rather “Why is what this person doing right now irritating me so much, how did I create this experience for myself to begin with, and what am I learning from this that will help me create more of the kind of experiences I’d really like to have going forward?”
Answering these questions brings an incredible personal understanding of ourselves, a clarification for ourselves, and a deeper, healthier and closer relationship with ourselves and, as a result, with others, too. We can only do this by actually paying attention to our life experiences, addressing what they mean for us with ourselves and, in this way, design our wanted future experiences.