Monday, November 4, 2013

On My Faults and My Mini-Me-Mirror

I tell Raccoon that we are like two peas in a pod, he and I, which is why we drive each other crazy sometimes. We also love each other ferociously. He and I are the two negative charges and the King and Robin are the positive ones. Their energy is soothing to us and keeps our family balanced. They are a mellow balm to our intensities.

From the beginning with Raccoon, my husband would exclaim in exasperation after an hour of demanding play that inevitably ended in baby tears of frustration, "He is just like you!" At first, I thought this was highly unfair, but as time went on, I began to see the truth in it. There's a reason that I call my faults blind spots; they are glaringly obvious to everyone else except me.

Raccoon is my mini-me-mirror, or magnifying glass. The things that I yell at him for most are the very things that I don't like about myself. What I criticize in others is exactly what I don't like about myself. "You spot it, you got it," said Gretchen Rubin, but Jesus knew this truth first. "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." Matthew 7:1-5

You should try catching yourself sometime, it's veeeeeery eye-opening, once you get past the denial of course. I'm not like that! Some people never get past that stage. How many times have I thought, "She doesn't like him/her because they are the same!"

Another wise man said, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was." (James 1:22-24) Or as King David wrote, "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults." (Psalm 19:12)

So in the interest of taking the beam out of my own eye before I try to pick out the speck in Raccoon's, here are some things that I struggle with, as shown to me by my mini-me-mirror. I don't like it, but I accept it as truth. If I didn't struggle with these things, then they wouldn't bother me as much in Raccoon:

Never satisfied
Act without thinking of the consequences for others
Hard to sidetrack from what I want
Don't take responsibility, think that everything is someone else's fault.
Take things too much to heart

Ugh. Not a pretty picture. With other adults, the things I criticize the most are being manipulative (always having an agenda) and being a know-it-all. Ouch. This is the bad news.

The good news is that this hypersensitivity is also like a superpower. My husband frequently points out particular faults in others that I do not see. I've learned to trust him since he has been inevitably right. And if I sense my faults in others, I now pay attention. If you listen to other people's criticism, then you are given the keys to their struggles (I can't stand him, he's so _______!) I find this useful because I like knowing what makes people tick, and getting to the heart of the matter.

I tell you this to be used in a merciful way, not to deal others the ultimate low-blow in their area of particular weakness. Be kind, we are all struggling. I am learning to accept this truth and try to use it for good, seeing the faults in myself and also trusting my instincts about others. As much as I hate my faults, I do like having a superpower.

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