the things under the mat

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the things under the mat


We’re told to clean up our side of the street; to not to look at another person‘s defects and tell them what they are doing wrong, even when it is often very obvious. Sometimes this is much easier said than done, looking at just ourselves while remaining accepting and patient with them.

I find it funny that we can sweep up our side of the street, get it all nice and pretty, and then we intentionally call out other people. We may even say something to them in a kind way.  Some call that "passive aggressive," while others may call it "putting on a face."  Then there's those who just go at it more aggressively, face to face. Anyway we look at it, the fact is, it's their side of the street not ours. If they’re going to leave a mess, it is going to become aparent by those surrounding that person. It is not our business to tell them what it is that they're doing "all wrong" unless it is causing harm--to themselves or others.

But here’s the interesting thing. it is said that when we notice something "wrong" about somebody else, it’s because that very same thing is "wrong" in us. We dislike it, because we recognize it; we know what it is.  And when we can see what that person is doing incorrectly, most of the time it’s because that is part of what’s happening with ourselves. It’s those very issues that we have swept underneath our own mat when we were cleaning our side of the street. It happens quite often truthfully, and it seems to me like it happens most often in the initial stages of making amends.  We recognize what we’ve done wrong, we've come to grips with it, faced those that we’ve hurt and offered amends, yet we keep that one thing underneath our mat . Out of sight, out of mind.  Who needs to know about that anyway, right?

It’s still there. We still walk on it every day. We know that it’s there. No one else may see it (yet), but it will nag at us until we get it taken care of.  Oh the mounding-hill of the tiny things we just keep tripping on.  Some will say that this livable, and for them--well, that is their prerogative. But I intend to keep working on this program, to get better than where I am right now, and although I am not perfect at it in any way, shape or form, I do everything in my power to be as good at it as I can be. This means knowing, acknowledging the fact that I put/swept something under that mat--my mat--and therefore my side of the street is not truly clean. Some of it has just been hidden.

Understand, I’m not talking about the new things that come up, or stuff that just happens, or the things that may have been honestly forgotten about. Those are different, and old things will be revealed when appropriate.  But the stuff we're aware of?  When we sweep it under the mat, and we let it be, it doesn't go away until we pull that mat back and take a look at what we're hiding from.

So let's stop judging our neighbors for what they're doing "wrong," and clean up our side of the street... and just FYI, that's directed towards me.