Transform lives through a gift to the Karen Berg Scholarship Fund. DONATE NOW
Admit it. We all have that one person that we just can’t stand. We can’t really explain why, but boy, do they get under our skin! Maybe it’s the way they act, the choices they have made, or maybe our personalities just clash. We often hear that we are meant to “love thy neighbor,” but why is it so difficult to do that, especially when it comes to certain people?
The ancient kabbalists teach that when we see a quality we don’t like in someone else, it is because we have an element of that quality within ourselves. Tough pill to swallow, isn’t it? Well, let’s take a closer look at what this actually means.
"The kabbalists teach that the world is like a big mirror."
The kabbalists teach that the world is like a big mirror. What we see in others is in fact a projection of ourselves – or more specifically, our state of consciousness. In other words, we would not see something bad in someone else if we didn’t have at least a fraction of that element inside of us. In this way, we can begin to see how the traits in others that push our buttons are often indications of what we ourselves need to be working on.
Think about someone you don’t like very much. What is it that bothers you most about them? Maybe they have a short temper and tend to explode. Now the fact that this bothers you should indicate that anger is an issue for you – but not necessarily in the same way. Maybe you tend to hold in your anger and harbor it. Though the way they mishandle their anger may be very different from the way you do, the root of the problem is the same.
Whenever we see something we don’t like in someone else, it is an opportunity to reflect on ourselves. Through doing so, we can learn what it is inside of us that we need to work on. The people who get under our skin the most are really just the people who can push us towards becoming better.
"Every hardship is an opportunity for us to learn and grow closer to the Creator."
Also, according to the kabbalists, the Creator does not see any negativity in the world, only good. Kabbalah teaches us that our job in life is to become like the Creator in our thoughts and actions. This means we must learn to be more sharing, be more loving, and to see the blessings in every situation, no matter how negative they may seem to us. Seeing only positivity in the world does not mean that we live in denial, pretending challenges don’t exist. On the contrary, it means that we see that every obstacle and every hardship is an opportunity for us to learn and grow closer to the Creator.
Therefore, whenever we focus on the things we don’t like about other people, we are pulling away from the Creator and disconnecting from the Light. Likewise, every time we push ourselves to see the good in people and in ourselves, we take a step closer to the Light.
So, the next time someone rubs you the wrong way, take a moment to think about what they can teach you about yourself, and how you can use that to grow your relationship with the Creator.