“When you see ill in your friend, it is your own ill that you are observing.”-Baal Shem Tov
Have you ever experienced the thing where someone really, really, really gets on your nerves, so much so that when they walk into a room your muscles tense up?
And then you realize that the reason they bother you so much is because they remind you of something your don’t like….in yourself?
We can see this play out with strangers, acquaintances, but also spouses, children, parents. Literally anyone.
The Baal Shem Tov teaches us that when something bothers us in someone else, it’s a hint to something within ourselves that we can fix.
So what does it mean if I find nearly everyone annoying? Haha, just kidding. Kind of.
Dini Coopersmith once also told me that sometimes it’s hard to see the flaw in ourselves. Like, if someone is chronically late and you’re always on time, what are you supposed to fix? You’re already not late.
She said that you can look for the root of the behavior, like how being late can mean not respecting someone else’s time. And then look within yourself to see if you ever don’t respect someone’s time, in a different way.
What are some examples you can think of?
further reading: To See or Not to See