Tuesday, June 06, 2006
MIRROR IMAGING AND PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT IT MEANS
I like to think that I have a really good rapport with M. I have been pleased that he listens to my suggestions and we talk over issues at work and look for resolutions, but what I enjoy about our relationship the most is the fact that he is a mirror.
What do I mean about a mirror? I had heard how other people can "mirror" your actions by their own way of being, but I had never been able to... really see it before. Perhaps I am explaining this poorly, but in reading on, you will be able to get the picture. In other words, by some negative action of theirs, you can better understand a similar action within yourself and therefore work at changing that pattern.
I have anger issues and anyone who has ever worked with me definitely knows that. It starts out as frustration and evolves into anger when I cannot get the issue resolved. (After all, I believe that everyone should have the same work ethics as I do and when they don't perform to my standards... let's say that I get quite put out.) I have spent years trying to come to terms with this and there has been much guilt when I have taken my anger out on unsuspecting persons... although in my mind at the time, they deserved it, no one deserves it.
Yesterday I go into work to find a total disaster area. It looked like a hurricane blew through. There were boxes tipped over with books falling onto the floor (Bargain area,) there were packing peanuts all over the floor around the returns desk and dumped between the trash bucket and desk (my work space,) and a large double sided, four shelf cart left in front of the receiving door, full of books and heavy to move. There was a v-cart which had had books on it, but half of them had been knocked to the floor. Trash buckets were full and the cardboard container was stacked higher than I am tall. The floor was littered with trash as people empty boxes or bring things back and just leave the trash laying around for someone else to take care of. Instead of being stacked, boxes were spread out taking up floor space.
I started cleaning and stacking and emptying trash. I swept the floor and neatened the room getting it ready for the day's delivery. There are some areas, some people's sections, that I am tired of cleaning up. I left that area alone thinking that if he wants to work in a pig pen, let him. (Periodically, I get tired of looking at that mess and clean it up. It's close to my work space and I feel that reflects on me.) I received some kids stuff and took out the trash when the door was unlocked.
I told M, with a laughed, that it was a good thing that I come in first and get the place relatively neat before he shows up. He would have had a fit to come in to that. (Maybe I ought to take a Monday off once in a while so he can see what Monday mornings are like.) He proceeded to give me the speech on remaining calm and not letting that upset me. He told me that he doesn't let this type of stuff bother him anymore, that he remains calm and cool.
I was laughing to myself. All the time he is patronizing me, I am remembering the guy who throws a temper tantrum at least every other day. Here's the guy who swears and kicks things and throws boxes and he's telling me how calm he is? Yeah, right.
The Lesson? What is really neat is that I recognize that mirror-imaging. He is showing me how I act and although I am not physical (I don't throw boxes or kick things... as much as I'd like to sometimes,) there is still that "wanting to" in me. I know I consciously project how unhappy I am with this work situation. M shows me what the anger looks like to other people. It also shows me that as often as I think I remain calm and cool, I don't in certain instances and I am sure that M feels the same. He remembers times when he is calm as I remember times that I am at peace.
We are both getting better, though. He is much more calm than he used to be when we first started working together. Perhaps we are learning from one another. I know I am better, or at least, I have a faster recovery rate and I do not stay angry as long. The despair does not linger, though there are days when I wonder why I am still there. (I know why... there are benefits.) There are days when I just want to sit and cry when I see what is left from the day before. (More lessons in humility to be learned... or maybe acceptance is a better word.)
I am recognizing in myself certain... patterns... that I'd like to improve on. Frustrations with others behaviors... it seems I can accept them for who they are until they "invade" my personal space. There is something within me that "fights" the... ????... of having to serve people or being a servant or taking care of someone or waiting on someone. (This is a biggie for me and I am not even close to handling it yet.)
But I am better, I promise, and I am getting better all the time. Maybe this is what this life journey is all about.
What do you think?