Day 12: Seeing in Others What We Hate About Ourselves

How did it go?

Today felt like a long day.

I got a new journal yesterday to begin in August (the one I got from my husband for Christmas will be full by then), and so today I went out to get some stickers and such to personalize it. I always love the feeling and thought of a new journal, and I always get new ideas for how the new one will function, so I look forward to seeing that pan out.

Other than that, it was another day of apartment-searching. I’ve done my duty of calculating what I can afford and making my comparative list of “must haves” versus “would be nice to have.” What came along with today’s search, though, had me thinking. I began to feel guilty about the type of apartment I can afford versus what I feel someone like me should have. I’ll put it this way: what I can afford is actually better than what I feel I deserve.

What does that say about my mentality?

Nothing positive, I’ll tell you that. But I simply don’t know what to make of those feelings or really how to articulate them. I guess that’s something else for therapy.

What did I learn?

One of the hosts of my favorite podcast, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, said in an episode: “We hate in others what we hate in ourselves” (or something along those lines). Unfortunately, I can’t remember what season or what episode this was in, and I can’t even remember if he was quoting someone else or not. But the idea has stuck with me, and I saw it most in myself today.

(Quick background: I’m currently living with my mother in her basement suite while I work to save and pay off some debt.) My mother wanted to put together a desk she has had for about two weeks as soon as we got home from apartment-searching. I, on the other hand, wanted to analyze my housing options and put together my new journal layout. As I was moving the old desk to the garage, I was thinking: “why now, at this very moment, are we doing this?”

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I am thankful my mom has allowed me to live with her rent-free for a few months while I get some things settled. It’s just odd to do after living on my own for, well, a long time.

Anyway, while I wasn’t angry or anything at this sudden desire, I thought to myself how many times I had done that to my husband. We would have gotten home from something, he’d be tired, but I’d insist on doing something around the house, thinking that would be as good a time as any. And, as I was thinking, I realized I had no idea why, really, I did that, and I didn’t like the person I was in those particular moments.

So, other than learning that I am too much like my mother, I learned that what can annoy me in others are the things that annoy others about me. Isn’t that interesting?

While this may not seem positive, it did one positive thing for me: helped me to learn about myself, why I react the way I do at certain times, and why I feel certain things. Which is, in essence, what this challenge is about for me.

Here’s my thought: maybe we should do some internal digging the next time we get upset with something someone else is doing. It may just be something we don’t like about ourselves.

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