In her book 'Living in the Light', Shakti Gawain proposes that the external world is like a giant mirror, reflecting our consciousness. And this idea has been much discussed in various mind, body and spirit books and blogs. When someone annoys or upsets us it usually means that they are doing something that we ourselves do. They are shining a light on something that we have stashed in our shadow side. Watch carefully for people who seem to rub you up the wrong way and you can't explain why. Reflect on what it is exactly that annoys you – and then make the link with yourself. If you are willing to do this, it can be very helpful for personal growth.
I can think of an example of my own when an acquaintence spoke very forcefully about tattoos and that people shouldn't be allowed to show them in public. To my very liberal viewpoint this was nothing short of an infringement of human rights. So in I jumped with a confrontational stance. It shut the conversation down quickly. Later I reflected on it, and I realised that it was her intolerance that I objected to. Intolerance is something I keep in a pocket of my shadow. I like to think of myself as a tolerant person and yet, like everyone, there are things I am intolerant about. I was actually being intolerant of this woman's right to her own opinions. There are times when intolerance is right and necessary (in the case of bullying, fascism and violence). But in terms of whether tattoos are acceptable or not – I think I can let that one go... If I had been mindful, I would have kept my mouth shut. Then, if she had asked my opinion I could have given it. Ah well... live and learn.
What is your world currently reflecting to you? Reflect on those reflections – and the rewards are greater insight and clarity.