I don't know her name.
In fact we have never even spoken.
We don't need to, as I know I don't like her. There is just something about her. It is definitely her with the problem, not me.
It doesn't have to be a woman at a bus stop, it could be someone you work with, a friend or even a family member. There is just something about them that makes you feel not you, without warning. So, you move silently away, close yourself off or maybe result to judgement—berating the person for the colour of their shoes or their chipped nail polish. It is definitely their problem, not mine.
Momentarily we feel totally powerless and the lack of rationale is perplexing, leaving you feeling paralysed as a wave of emotions bubble to the surface. What is it about this person that makes you feel angry / insignificant / powerless / lost or a whole host of other sensations. You were fine until they came along. It is definitely them, not me.
Then a waft of perfume or a movement of the hand takes you back to a unique moment when a school teacher criticised you or a 'friend' bullied you. The same emotion you experienced then, engulfs you. The memory is painful. Your younger self tells you 'don't trust anyone who wears that perfume' or 'if someone moves like that they will hurt you'. The you, you are now, responds. You can justify your response. Moving away and giving the person the cold shoulder or turning to your work colleague offering a look of disgust. It is warranted. A feeling of vindication, as it is definitely their problem, not mine.
Each of us carries a lifetime of exclusive memories, experiences based on relationships with friends, peers, family, or loved ones, which are ready to pop into our consciousness at any given moment. The power they have over us can stop us in our tracks, limiting our potential, and creating blockages to our personal growth. These events, to our younger self, hold such enormity that we develop the ability to grip tightly onto to the beliefs we have unwittingly created. Years and years of being correct in our thinking, add more power to our younger self's views—as you may recognise that the boss you worked with several years ago also wore the same perfume and you were right to dislike her. Right?
Unpicking the beliefs can be painful as we begin to recognise that it is our individual thinking that creates our suffering. Holding onto our younger self's thinking is limiting. And why would you wish to hold true to a belief that you created at 1/2/3/4 years old when you did not have the cognitive development or life experiences to think differently.
It is not our experiences that define who we are, but what we think about those experiences. When we begin to recognise the power of our thinking we can change our lives. The next time you find yourself thinking negatively towards yourself or someone else, think again. The next time you find yourself overwhelmed with negative thoughts...
And take some time to recognise any limiting belief, and then choose again. If you choose not to, you continue to give power to your old wounds, and to those people around you who represent those wounds at this moment in time. You continue to suffer, limiting your own potential, and blocking yourself from the immense possibilities available.
There's the woman at the bus stop with her colourful shoes and chipped nail polish.
And it is definitely MY problem and not hers.
There is the woman at the bus stop... and I love how brave she is to wear colourful shoes and colourful nail polish.