“If you find yourself criticizing other people, you’re probably doing it out of Resistance. When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived out our own.” Steven Pressfield
Recently a friend of mine, Shelby*, brought up some gossip about another person I know. It wasn’t that she brought it up to be mean, but she wanted to tell me what she heard and what I thought about it. The gossip was as simple as saying that this person was a flake (not the real gossip, but an example). Flake to me means wishy-washy on how they deliver themselves. Ex. Say yes, but then don’t show up. Say they will do a job, but it isn’t done well even though they said they do great work.
It didn’t matter what was said, it was what it brought up for me. I told Shelby that it truly doesn’t matter to me about this persons flakiness. This other persons behavior doesn’t bother me nor had I noticed, but more so I had told this same person that this is what will happen as you gain awareness and I shared that with Shelby.
Scenario with changed details for privacy but a story for clarity, the friend that is supposedly flaky, Jamie*, is seeking awareness. She is focused on noticing her common thread behaviors and seeking clarity on making new choices. She has habits such as complaining. She, in past, complained to everyone who would hear her. She voiced these complaints until they fell on deaf ears. She had scarred family and friends relationships and it had disastrous results. So, she hit a bottom, but as she started climbing out she is making changes. She has made new friends who are seeking awareness as well. She is in fact changing. I met Jamie and we spoke about many things in her life and mine. I told her that the greatest thing that will happen to her can be in fact the most difficult, but in retrospect the most rewarding is that the people that you’ve had in your life for a long time may suddenly want nothing to do with you. They will pull away, or that you will. But, I said that surprisingly the worst part is that they may act out in a less then positive manner as the relationship severs. This is where the criticisms and gossip can begin. It can hurt and will test you into falling back into old ways.
I have found that if you have acted a certain way for so long people around you have that expectation of you. If you are a reactor and a situation happens those people almost turn to you and wait for your same reaction. Now, when you are making a choice to change it almost seems to agitate the people around you when you don’t react the same way. I find that it seems with some people they felt better then you when you were someone who yelled and screamed and they sat quietly. Possibly, they felt more superior because they could handle themselves better then you. All of a sudden, you change and handle a situation better then them (by their standard) and something changes within them. They had you on the list of people that were beneath them and now they don’t know where to put you. So, since they want to keep you on that list of less than, they will in fact try to sabotage you there by their own behavior.
As Steven Pressfield suggests from his quote that is an act of jealousy. For added note, Mr. Pressfield mentions Resistance which he suggests is the voice inside (the Devil) that talks you out of being your true self. Self-sabotage within. So, when you keep on conquering Resistance and be your authentic self that it can bring out the Resistance in others to activate your own Resistance within.
Have you ever noticed that? A person that you know takes the risk starting a new business. Or, they go to school and sacrifice and then build themselves into an amazing career. Or, they build a new house. To them you may give the notion that you are happy for them, but behind their back you say how stupid they are or I can’t believe “they” could ever get that job, because you know they couldn’t keep a job 20 years ago or your jealous of their money or ability to get that house.
In the end, it doesn’t matter about how others behave to you. The lesson is that this will happen to you when you make changes in your life. But, an important aspect of all of this is that you have to be aware of gossip and criticizing about others as well. Then the best part, is that as you gain awareness more and more people will join you on your path that are like minded and are working on being a person that is aware of themselves that focuses on being kind and compassionate. This in itself makes it easier to not gossip and criticize our fellow humans.
Keep shining your love and light.
*not their real names