I think it was Rumi who said, “Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are”. I’ve always thought this was a beautiful quote but lately it’s taken on a new meaning for me. I’ve been reflecting on the fact that almost all of our issues in life, specifically those stemming from other people, actually start with us.
We have all, if we’re fortunate enough, been raised by families who did the best they could with what they had to keep us safe, warm and happy. That in and of itself, is a heroic act. But as we get older, we start to analyze what was done for us and blame many of our own issues or shortcomings on the heros that raised us. This is just the beginning. We then often proceed to place blame on other people in our lives for all sorts of negative states/emotions we find ourselves in. But here’s a crazy fact. No one else can actually ever permanently change a negative state of being in you but you.
Even if someone temporarily tries, they’re only just serving as a bandaid until someone else triggers that negative emotion. For most of us, these emotions stem from some sort of insecurity.
For example, anger stems from an insecure need to feel in control and also a need for certainty. The negative state of feeling taken for granted stems from our need to feel validated. The state of feeling disrespected is our need to feel appreciated.
These are all valid needs and it’s true that people may be triggering the negative emotions associated with these needs. But we have the biggest responsibility in this. We can authentically express to our loved ones what our triggers are. In doing this, it’s important to acknowledge our desire to work towards removing these triggers and to not place blame. It’s also important that the other person appreciates our authenticity and makes an effort not to aggravate our triggers. Because they wouldn’t want their triggers aggravated. Golden rule.
It’s also important to analyze where our triggers come from. Talk to yourself like a therapist would in order to find the root cause. And then you can work towards it.
Because at the end of the day, everything you want, you already are.