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Friday, 2 March 2012

The Truth About Mean People

We can’t hurt someone and not suffer because of it.
Byron Katie

I believe this to be true. I really do. I have to. Otherwise I wouldn't sleep at night.

Sometimes I think I'm a little naive. I must be. Or just a wishful thinker maybe. I put a lot of energy into trying to see the best in people. Again, I kinda have to. That is, if I want to continue to do the work I love. I have been trained to look past people's behaviors and to continually practice widening my capacity for forgiveness. That's not always a simple thing for me. But its getting easier.

There are a couple of exceptions though. A couple of very difficult people who have crossed my path that have ultimately become my greatest teachers. They've provided me with such powerful lessons in keeping my heart open and humbly picking up some of the mess they left as a result of gracing my life with their presence. Yoga has trained me in the language of symbols. Everything is symbolic. People's injuries are symbolic, the way people hold themselves and their bodies are symbolic, the words people use.....all symbols of the incredibly intricate and complex inner worlds that we carry around within us.

Interestingly, I've come to notice the people we somehow attract into our lives are also symbolic - of what we need for true growth. Which, is really what we're doing here, isn't it? Learning, evolving...? I mean, if you had real resistance, real difficulty with trusting people because you were terrified of being abandoned, for example, what do you think the best way to really learn to release/heal that? Probably to experience your way through it so you actually build up the necessary tools. Probably to attract someone into your life who does the exact thing you're afraid of. Why? Because you keep living. You keep going. It hurts for a while but then you move on, and are ultimately stronger eventually. And that old fear, that resistance, is calmed. Because you've already survived it.

Plus, MeanPeople are really just ScaredPeople in disguise. Funny how seductive the emotions can be isn't it? We can get all caught up in the drama of a situation or the indignity of it all that we forget to really notice what's happening. Looking at things symbolically can help change a lot of cycles and patterns that you find repeating themselves. Next time you find yourself confronted with a MeanPerson relax and try to understand that deep down they're just frightened. Deep down they're really a lot like you I imagine. Understanding that breeds compassion. It's easier to forgive when you see your same-ness with another. Underneath it all we're not really that different from each other.

When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.— Thich Nhat Hanh

And in these very wise words lies the real, heart of the matter, truly:

'Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.' Ernest Holmes


  1. I really liked the line "Mean People are really
    just Scared People in disguise!" and have created a post in my blog dedicated to this thought.
    Thanks for inspirational thoughts.

    Mountain Monarch
    Blog :

  2. Hello there. You are very welcome. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. Heather, this rings very true. I think leanring to conquer emotions of people like this is what religion was originally trying to teach before it got bastardized and re-packaged. This is definitely something i struggle with. To fight the urge to shut down and draw up walls around oneself is the most difficult to achieve. As humans we naturally attempt to isolate negativity and close it off much like a scar that forms in the body after injury. This is a beautiful reminder to broaden our perspective as humans and to lift ourselves above our primal instincts. Thank you. Loves. Blair

  4. Oh Blair. Beautifully put. Thank you for your candidness. I agree that it is truly difficult not to shut down at times. I guess that's why we "practice" isn't it?
    Big Love to you girl...