Usually at this time of year, I find myself revisiting Carl Jung. What strikes me in particular about this reading is how much of our work involves looking at what irritates us. In others.
This irritating person is reflecting back to us a part of ourselves—one that we deny and denigrate.
Sometimes these manifest as liberties we do not grant ourselves. We may get annoyed by that bossy aunt because deep down we’d like to be equally vocal but we are afraid of rocking the boat. Or maybe we are frustrated by the passive aggressive uncle because deep down we see ourselves in him.
Whether it’s a trait we wish to suppress or one we’d like to express, the healing comes when we accept all of ourselves. When we accept that our projected “I” is only one small part of ourselves.
We are so much more!
We are bossy and demure and fun and serious and forgiving and angry and accepting and judgmental.
So maybe, rather than trying so damn hard to be this projected image, we can settle back and become intimate with all parts of ourselves. We can honor and nurture and heal our internal multiplicities.
And then, maybe, dare I hope… we can begin to honor and nurture and heal our external multiplicities—the families, the communities, the conflicts on the world stage.