Unconscious self-superiority keeps itself in place through a process of resisting what it imagines it isn’t like, but by the fact of the negative reaction proves its unseen likeness. Shakespeare said, “Methinks thou dost protest too much,” because he was pointing out that what we most strongly deny in another is what we unconsciously recognize in ourselves.
The first step in harmonious relationships is simple: We need only realize the spiritual truth that we cannot meet someone whom we are not like in some way, even if we don’t actively express what we don’t like seeing in him or her. The deception is that we’re sure we’re unlike everyone except for those who match the images we have of ourselves. And so it goes that we live from — see our lives through — the eyes of a certain false sense of “I” that always resists anyone seen as being “not like I am.” But love cannot grow where resistance rules.
We have not been given this precious life in order to go through it resisting everything that doesn’t suit us; rather we are created to grow through whatever we meet along the way. When we resist what others show us about ourselves, we close the door on the possibility of transcending the undiscovered parts of us that are troubled by them. Freedom is not found by avoiding what disturbs us, but by illuminating — realizing and releasing — whatever may dwell in the dark of us that can be disturbed.
Now just so we’re clear on this, there are plenty of unpleasant people. Our world is packed with them! But, given the negative effect of resenting others, and the fact that (for now) all we know to do towards those who disturb us is to resist them, could it be that when it comes to our human relationships we have been blinded to one of the main reasons for them? The answer is “yes.”
Just as the wind moves through a tree and carries its pollen to the blossoms of another tree, our relationships are intended to help “pollinate” the soul so that true understanding of why we are here on earth can flower within it. We grow through our relationships with life, which means that through them we are shown possibilities about ourselves we never knew existed. To exclude any of these discoveries is to deny ourselves the truth of ourselves, something the Truth within us would never do.
We need a new intention in all of our relationships, something like this: “I will not suffer you; instead I will work to be increasingly conscious of us, suffering what I must for the sake of both of us. I will not cast you out as being something inferior to myself; I will not do that because I can’t recognize in you anything as being an inferior condition in you unless I have it in myself.”
This inner exercise is good for any negative reaction we may have towards the unwanted manifestations of others. It disarms the lie of the “superior” self by effectively cancelling its corrupting power to produce the illusion that we are different from the people we resist.
Our work, if we’re willing, is to catch that surging separation called “you are different from me.” And then, in that same moment, to apply our new understanding that cancels this unconscious act of resistance. Instead we embrace the realization that “you” and “I” are both exposed in this God-given moment that God meant for the purpose of transcending ourselves.
(Excerpted from The Essential Laws of Fearless Living by Guy Finley, Red Wheel/Weiser)