I Am My Brother’s Keeper

Following on from the last post, the people around us express our disowned selves. This includes passersby and distant friends, acquaintances and relatives.

Our inner conflicts are expressed as polarities. If we have an internal division it is like pushing down on one side of a seesaw – the opposite polarity is bound by law to pop up nearby.

If someone comes into your life who is involved with drugs, violence, crime then it is a reflection of your interior condition. And changing them comes by changing yourself. That is to say: stop pushing down on the seesaw.

Without even knowing it, energetically we are always pushing people around – silently demanding our own way. So if we learn to stop this demanding and pushing then other people’s behaviour will change automatically. It is like dropping the rope in a tug of war.

But most of us don’t take this path. Instead we either push harder and demand more which just aggravates the situation, or we do enough to maintain our uncomfortable comfort zones.

Disowned selves also show us that we are responsible for the behaviour of other people. We should ask ourselves – how I am pushing this person? What demands do I have on them?

It may be that you are a perfectionist and thereby draw out imperfection from others. You may be demanding that spontaneity be suppressed, thereby inviting someone around you to express spontaneity in the proportion that you are suppressing it.

In a real-life example of self-harm by someone at the periphery of my life, I wonder why it came into my experience. I ask myself how I was subconsciously pushing this person? What expectations do I hold in my subconscious mind that I silently pressure her with? What in me wants to have this experience, even if it is distant? How do I benefit from this experience? How do I grow from this experience? What lessons are there for me?

As much as people rush to reject this way of looking at the world, we are all interconnected and play a part in creating other people’s behaviour.


From Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

“He hated his mother. He married a woman totally different from his mother but through neglect, coldness and betrayal turned her into the exact image of his mother.”


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