Lisa is the right arm of one of Melbourne’s top surgeons. Earlier this week he was ranting and raving, at Lisa, because he’d misplaced a surgical instrument. She silently accepted his verbal abuse but five days later she’s still stewing.
There is never a word of appreciation for the fact Lisa works twelve to fourteen hour shifts alongside him, as well as getting in early to prep the theatre and staying late to finish the administrative work.
Ten years ago, and maybe even five years ago, my first reaction would have been ‘What a bastard!’
But I’ve learned the hard way that the world is always our mirror, and if someone is treating us poorly, it’s often an indication that we’re treating ourselves poorly.
“So” I said to Lisa “how would you describe his behaviour towards you?”
“He’s totally unreasonable” she responded.
“Okay, what are you asking of yourself that’s unreasonable?”
“Eeww” she said, “I don’t like this game”.
None of us do as it’s far easier to blame someone else, or something else, when we’re feeling angry or miserable, rather than taking responsibility for ourselves and the choices we make.
When Lisa drilled into it, it was very clear to her that whilst her surgeon was being totally unreasonable, he was also the perfect mirror for her – as the world always is.
She was asking far too much of herself: getting up at 5am to work out, make the school lunches for her teenage kids, be at the surgery by 7am to prepare the paperwork for surgery, assist in the surgeries, then do post-op checks, followed by more admin.
There was definitely no time in her schedule for herself which is the first step towards self-care and self-love.
Often those that hurt or offend us the most are doing us a favour because if we take the time to stop and look at their behaviour, it will often mirror exactly what we’re doing to ourselves. Then we just need to be honest enough with ourselves to accept the message and take action accordingly!