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That Little Itch
Should Be Telling You Something

(Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash)

Tell me if you’ve ever noticed this before.

This is a tough one to see.

But if you look hard enough, it’s there.

Ask yourself this question the next time you get upset, angry, or annoyed with what somebody else does.

“Do I do that very same thing?”

If you can do a completely honest self-evaluation, the answer is almost always yes.

I was recently upset with a family member about something they were doing.

They kept dwelling on and talking about what was wrong with a particular situation.

I told them I didn’t think it was wise to focus on the negative thing they didn’t want.

I suggested… well, as long as we’re being honest here…

I forcibly argued that focusing on the negative was unwise and wouldn’t produce the result they wanted.

I even went on to exclaim that I was pretty surprised they couldn’t see this was true.

I emphatically expressed my shock and dismay that I had to be the one to point out the obvious flaw with what they were doing.

None of what I said was well received.

So, no surprise, I was blessed with some alone time to do some thinking. 

I remembered one of my new resolutions is to look inward at myself when I’m upset.

My objective is to determine how I’m responsible for what happens in my life.

I look to see what thought created my feelings and the result I experienced. 

The end goal is to take control of the life I’m living and mold it the way I want it to be.

This is no small task.

But it’s worth the effort.

(Photo by Anthony Tori on Unsplash)

Being introspective and taking responsibility for everything is much better than the alternative.

In the past, I always saw myself as a victim.

Giving away responsibility was the easy thing to do, and I did it often.

It always left me feeling powerless and weak.

I refuse to live that way anymore.

I still slip into the role of a victim from time to time.

But as soon as I notice it, I pull myself out.

This was another one of those times.


So I asked myself, “Do I talk about what’s wrong and focus on the negative?”

Not only was the answer yes, but I do it a lot with this family member.

I want my relationship with this person to grow into something wonderful.

But I constantly point at, overemphasize, and call attention to the few things I don’t like.

Meanwhile, I don’t celebrate all the great things with the same enthusiasm, focus, and attention.

I do precisely the thing that I’m complaining about.

I do exactly what prevents the relationship from growing the way I want it to.


When I witness others being judgmental and critical, I’m repulsed.

I can’t stand being around negative people.

Why?

Because I don’t like these tendencies in me.

I’m often judgmental and critical.

I overemphasize the negative and disregard the positive.


The important thing is I now know what I want to change to improve my life and my relationships.

I took a few minutes to do an honest self-evaluation.

It’s as clear as the mountain air.

I had such a strong reaction to what my family member was doing because I don’t like that I do it too.

(Photo by Maria Thalassinou on Unsplash)

You can’t improve your life if you don’t know what to work on and change.

Take a minute the next time you get upset with somebody else.

Determine what it is they did that you object to.

Then ask yourself if you do that very same thing.

Be honest.

Be open.

It’s okay not to be perfect.

And it’s okay to grow and improve.

Find your starting point.