If You Like Me Does That Make Me Bad?

“I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”
American Comedian Groucho Marx

by Fionn Zarubica

grouchoHave you ever noticed that people tend to turn on that which they once pursued and admired?  We can see it in so many areas; in interpersonal relationships, relationships with figures of authority – teachers, gurus, bosses, celebrities, relationships with things, must have material objects, fashion, food, living quarters, jobs.

The cycle is fairly consistent from person to person and culture to culture.  There is always the initial encounter, followed by admiration, maybe yearning, acquisition, a bit of a honeymoon period, a doldrums period and then the resentment sets in.  That is the point at which an individual starts to find fault, withdraw, push back, stew if they are afraid of confrontation or get angry and lash out.

In fact being the object of someone’s admiration can be the most precarious position ever.

What is it?  What is at work?

Our relationship with ourselves is a direct reflection of our relationship with life.

How many people love themselves?  How many people even like themselves?

Not many will admit that they do not love or like themselves – even to themselves.  But when we see them turn on that which they once loved, the evidence is in.

The inner dialogue goes something like this: “How can something that I admire, flawed, damaged and unworthy creature that I am, be of any value?”  “How is it possible that I am able to choose well?”

When these doubts rise up in us, we begin to feel dissatisfied, irritated, envious, bored or superior.  We look for fault and initiate the process of gathering damning evidence.

Then the blame game gets going, where we enter into a kind of admiration dissonance.  In order to justify our change of position, we must hold the former object of our wonder responsible for luring us into thinking that the association would solve our problems and make us happy.

If we have not responded consciously to the situation up to this point, we may now start making funeral arrangements for the relationship.

When we are on the receiving end of this experience, it is hard not to take it to heart.  It is difficult to separate another person’s reaction to us, be it negative or positive, from how we see ourselves, because it feeds into our own absence of self-love and further imbalances us. 

But it is not personal.  It has nothing to do with us.  Our value is not set by the opinions of others.   What is being revealed in these interactions is the other person’s struggling relationship with his or her self.  What is being revealed is their own lack of self-love.

Try not to mind. If we hold our course and do not react, they will come back around.

Meanwhile, what we can do is explore to what degree we love ourselves; because we can be assured that the degree to which we do not is manifest in our lives and relationships; just as we witness in those who relate to us.

The secret to transcending any cycle that does not serve our joy is to LOVE ourselves, LOVE others and LOVE life – unconditionally.  Everything else will follow.

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