Being here means having relationships, and whether we like it or not (and I SO often do 'not'), we cannot avoid them. Even if we sit in bed at home in total silence, we still have to live with the room, the curtains, and hardest of all, ourselves.
Relationships are everything to us. They (if you can call them 'they') penetate our entire experience. Even while sleeping, our relationships to people, animals, trees, buildings, food - everything - makes up the fabric of our lives. These relationships are universal gifts given to us for learning throughout life; presents (in the present) from which we can become more of who we are - if we choose to accept them.
But... dear God in Heaven! It can be SO difficult!
It seems, on bad days, these relationships are nothing but a ginormous wind-up. It is as if the Cosmos wants to see just how many hot buttons we actually have; how many gaping wounds we need to rip the band aid off, and how many times we need to bleed like a stuck pig for a week before we can finally start to heal.
When you look at it from the bigger picture it all makes perfect sense. Hurray! All I have to do to be full of light, is see all the people around me as perfection - nothing needs to change - all is as it should be. All I have to do to make this happen is check out what annoys, frightens, angers and irritates me about others, and then acknowledge all these qualities as really being my own, and then, easy peasy, release them back into the wild...
Of course, and as Oprah so famously stated 'If you spot it - you got it!', it's not nice to think the things we loathe in others are right there, shouting and screaming, inside ouselves - projecting out into the world the exact same things we cannot bear to see in someone else.
We might not want to accept this uncomfortable truth, and it's certainly a truth that we may not have the same life experience as someone else - in fact we never could - but those harsh judgments we witness being dished out by someone else, under the banner of their 'rights and wrongs', are just as harsh as those we dole out ourselves and consider more worthy. Judgment is still judgment however you dress it up.
But I can't be like him/her! Please don't tell me I'm like that! I would never do/say what they do!
Or would I?
Unfortunately... being so resistent simply proves the point. If it wasn't such a wind up it wouldn't be in us. If it wasn't there, we couldn't see it because the mirror that is life couldn't reflect it back. Two people, with polarised outlooks on life, might share the same experience, but they will each tell a completely different story about it - it all depends on your point of view.
So here is my shadow self. Could be anyone - a shadow has no age, no gender, no weight or substance - it's just an outline, but it is capable of concealing a great deal. A lot of people could be stood within its dark cloak - the shadow of one can easily hold the shadow of many.
I need to keep mindful of this shadow... this inky outline of a form that follows me and leads me everywhere - and always remember, when I see in my world the reflection of someone I don't like, that someone is me.