Sometimes we feel irritated with the people we live with—this or that habit or peculiarity is “really getting old.” The truth is, we all have parts to our personalities that “get old” and it is loving-kindness that gets us through the rough patches. (Thank goodness, or none of us would have others to live with!) Those we live with are here partly to teach us about ourselves. We are mirrors for each other, truly–when we are alone it’s much harder to see our own reflection, to see the areas where we still need to grow. (And we offer this same assistance for them.)
It all comes back to compassion. We may not necessarily understand each other, but we do know how hard life can be at times, how it twists and turns, how we all have successes and defeats. We share so much in common in our human nature that we could easily be more forgiving of our loved ones–if we wanted to. I’m not talking about any form of abuse or misuse; that’s a whole other story. I’m talking about the imperfections we tend to focus on in our partners, friends, family, and children, and that we could turn that imperfection-mirror onto ourselves and see that we have as many things out-of-balance as our loved ones, as even our co-workers and neighbors. An outcome of turning the mirror on us is that we learn to see and love ourselves just as we are. The natural progression from there is to love others in the same way and perhaps even help them to learn, also, to be compassionate people.