"I can talk to him that way, he's my husband." This is what the cashier at Whole Foods said after she spoke harshly to her husband in front of me.
I know life is a mirror, always reflecting back to us ourselves so that we can see what we're not conscious of.
"She's me," I said.
So right there, at the Whole Foods checkout counter, I owned that I've done what I witnessed her do: In moments of depletion, overwhelm or upset, I've spoken harshly to my husband - a lot harsher than I would ever speak to anyone else. Can you relate? How many times have you said something to your lover or to someone you cherish that you would never say to someone else? No need to judge or make yourself wrong. (We're always doing the best we can). Just notice.
What I've learned is this: The way we talk to others mirrors the way we talk to ourselves. It's a reflection of our own inner dialog. If I'm hard on myself, I'll be hard on others. If I'm critical and judgmental of myself, I'll criticize and judge others. If I struggle to extend kindness and compassion towards myself, I'll struggle to extend kindness and compassion to those around me.
The relationship we have with ourselves is the foundation for all of our relationships. If we want to have more loving and honoring relationships, we have to be willing to cultivate a more loving and honoring relationship with ourselves. I saw this quote the other day by Brooke Hampton: "Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe they will become."
For me, this is an invitation to not only speak to our children this way, but everyone - including ourselves.
Speak to yourself as if you are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical human on earth - because YOU ARE.
As you speak to yourself with love, tenderness and compassion, you will more naturally speak to others in the same way. And your relationships will blossom.
➡️ As an experiment this week, notice what the people in your world are mirroring back to you about your relationship with yourself.
If you perceive someone as unkind (and it triggers you), ask yourself, "Where am I being unkind towards myself?"
Or, if you notice that someone is speaking critically to you (and it triggers you), notice if they are mirroring back to you the critical way you speak to yourself sometimes.
As we become aware of the patterns within ourselves that our outer world is mirroring back to us, we can begin to shift them. And then life will mirror those shifts right back. It's like magic!
I'm grateful to the woman at Whole Foods for being my reflection, showing me how to love more fully. I'm thankful to her for reminding me to be gentler and kinder in the way I relate to myself and with everyone around me.
All of our relationships are a mirror, helping us see our inner world so we can grow into the next highest version of ourselves.
And everyone is a teacher if we choose to see them that way.
Here's to using everything for our growth!