Many of us have heard the phrase, “When you point your finger at someone else, remember you have three fingers pointed back at you.” It took me a long time to truly get an understanding for this phrase. It wasn’t until going into recovery for codependence that I finally realized what it meant. Now, it is a sort of tool that I use to help guide myself in my own recovery.
One of my biggest problems was judging and criticizing others. I would blame them for things that I had a hand in, and I would comment on how something they were doing was irritating me. When I began recovery, I started looking at myself rather than others. In doing my fourth step, my eyes were truly opened to my behaviors and actions. Suddenly, I realized I was all of the things I saw in others that bothered me about them. That’s why they bothered me so much!
Now, even though I am working on not judging and not criticizing, it’s still an ingrained reaction, and I find myself doing it sometimes. Instead of ignoring it and not caring that I am acting this way, I take a moment to use it as a tool. I ask myself what it is that bothers me so much, and then I bring it inward and try to see if I can’t find times where I have acted similarly. This tool has really helped bring me out of denial and avoidance!
It’s much harder to look at ourselves than it is to look at someone else and point out what we dislike. There is so much pain stored inside, that the idea of really looking at ourselves is daunting, if only for the reason that we are convinced that we won’t like what we see. The beauty of looking inward is that we truly begin to recover. We cannot participate in our own recovery if we are busy focusing on someone else. So today, I would like you to try to remember the phrase, “Spot it, you got it!” If you find yourself annoyed with a person, try and use it to guide you into seeing a little bit more about yourself. Don’t be afraid!