Mean People: Distressing Disguises
By Peter and Helen Evans
One day a client was telling us about his relatives. His stories revealed a family filled with fear, jealousy, insecurity and just plain nastiness. When he finished, we said, “they sound like mean people.” He was taken aback. “But aren’t we supposed to see God in everyone? How can you say they’re mean?” He had just uncovered his problem. He had felt something was wrong with him because he couldn’t reconcile his relatives’ appearances with what he believed to be their true divine nature. So he denied their distressing aspects, and suffered the consequences of that distorted view of life.
We ARE in the ‘business’ of seeing God in all things. We are not in the business of denial. We can know that God is in everything, that we all have the Divine spark of the Infinite, but that doesn’t mean that everyone realizes their own truth.
Rather, we acknowledge God in everyone and also realize we wear some distressing disguises which veil that divinity. Some wear disguises of violence and irresponsibility, some wear the more socially acceptable disguises of unworthiness or unhappiness. The disguises are not our true nature, rather, they represent who we ‘think’ we are. And we are obliged to deal with the experiences these disguises manifest in our life. For instance, if you see someone wearing the disguise of a mugger, we strongly suggest you move to the other side of the street… unless you want to wear the disguise of ‘victim’.
In a sense, life is like a huge masquerade party, where we know the true identity of all the guests, but we act as though we acknowledge only the disguises we’re all wearing.
Can you see the divine nature in everyone, including mean people…and deal with their distressing disguises by taking care of yourself?