Photo by: Arkady Golod Photography

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”  Rumi

Have you ever noticed how patterns in life will keep repeating until we finally “get it”? For me this was never as apparent as when my family and I moved to another city, far far away.  I left behind a lot of great friends, but also a few toxic relationships and I was ready for a nice, shiny, new start.

Imagine my surprise when the exact same toxic relationships showed up, disguised as other people. It was almost comical, the week I started my new job and began to see the character traits blooming.   Oh wow.  Shirley is my new Back Stabbing Dawn.  Jake is my new Lascivious Larry.   And OH NO Clarissa is clearly my new Angry Annie.  WTF, Universe?  I thought I had left those problems behind and yet here they were again, only this time even bigger caricatures of their predecessors.  Where Dawn had been sneaky and sly in her back stabbing, Shirley was openly mean.  Where Larry had been subtle with his advances, Jake was a creepy octopus.  And Clarissa’s dark cloud of wrath made Angry Annie seem like a ray of sunshine.

Recognizing the repeating patterns was my first step in breaking these toxic relationships that kept developing in my world.   Once the pattern was recognized I was able to determine what lesson this person/relationship was here to teach.  Why did these annoying people keep showing up?  If I could just figure out what part of me they were polishing, maybe I could get the rubbing to stop.

I have come to realize that being a people pleaser, I tend to attract those inch/mile people who have no sense of boundaries.   So I set some boundaries.  I learned to calmly, gently but firmly speak my mind and even realized that “No” is a complete sentence.  Personal growth in leaps and bounds, right?  Now those annoying boundary pushers would leave me alone.  Lesson learned… let’s move on.

But no.  Seems the same “types” are still finding me, and it seems with each new representative they have become ever more extreme in their behaviors.  I continue to set my boundaries, but they keep showing up, leaping the fence, rubbing up against me until I am raw from their incessant polishing.

So now what?  Are there more lessons to learn?  And if so, what could they be?  Bigger boundaries?  Going on the offensive, being rude?  Ending relationships?  Becoming a hermit?

Getting still and silent one day, I heard the whisper of wisdom.  Speaking my truth and setting boundaries was one lesson.  But the true lesson goes far beyond.  The true, spiritual lesson is that I need to break down my own barriers and build a sanctuary of acceptance.  Maybe the Annie’s, Larry’s and others simply have a different sense of what is proper, socially acceptable behavior than I have.  Being different does not make them wrong.  Maybe my feelings of discomfort come because they are here to help me to stop keeping myself detached from life.   Maybe the real lesson is to love, unconditionally, in real and tangible ways and not just talk about it.  Maybe I need to walk the talk…live the talk, and break down the barriers I have built between me and my true Self.

My new practice is simple.  I accept whoever comes my way.  If they are angry, petty or gossip, I don’t react, but send them loving kindness.  I respond with gentleness and quiet acceptance and the results have been nearly miraculous.  The people who have come to polish my mirror reflect to me the things about myself that I have hidden away, secret shames and fears.  At first these relationships taught me how to have a better human experience.  Now they teach me how to have a better spiritual experience.  They shine and polish my mirror so that I can be the clear, divine love that I am meant to be.

And when they finally gaze into the mirror that they have helped to polish, they too get a glimpse of their eternal nature as I reflect back to them their own light.

17 Comments on “Reflections

  1. New Partner, same dance: same sore feet. But, with gumption, you have polished your mirror, Brenda, so that, as the Quaker George Fox said , “you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one you meet.” What a marvelous aspiration!


  2. Great post. Yes, it does seem to come back to a reflection of ourselves. I used to avoid that painful realization but in the end we can only change what we see.


  3. What an insightful post, so true in nature. At times lessons come in ways that can not be detected immediately, I am so proud of you for continuing to dig deeper and finding the true meaning of these lessons. Keep up the fantastic work 🙂

    I find that numerology helps me a lot with having unconditional love for many people because you can see them for who they are without judgement. You can break them down and realize, “Hey!” this has nothing to do with me, let me just accept them for who they are and be of servitude. My numerology article has helped a lot of people figure out whose around them, are they compatible or not, what kind of boundaries do I need to set for myself (lovingly) and how can I send them light and love without depleted my own resources.

    Here’s the article

    Keep up the great work!



  4. Reblogged this on adjustingyourfocus and commented:
    This is truly amazing. It so resonates with me and I believe it will help you, as well. To see how someone else sheds light on a thing — it can illuminate your mind, awaken your senses and make you see and feel everything in your life differently. Let’s grow together, people.


  5. This really spoke to my soul. I read your truth and knew it was my own. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece. I had to reblog. It’s just too good not to. 🙂


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