A few weeks ago my husband and I were able to watch a great performance at The Triple Door in Seattle with Geoff Tate, who is also the lead vocalist from Queensryche. Later, my husband posted a photo of us meeting Geoff on his Facebook site which was reposted by other friends. That one photo started quite a conversation about Geoff and who he is. We found Geoff to be very personable, approachable and kind. Let’s just say other people who commented had other opinions, and stated them clearly for all to read but many went like this:
“He’s a jerk.”
Did they know him personally? Did they interact with him in a capacity other than a fan trying to get a signature? I don’t know what was behind the “he’s a jerk” comment, but it was obvious from this person’s response that they had strong, negative feelings towards Geoff.
Now I’m the first to admit that the only thing I knew about Geoff before meeting him was a knowledge of the song Silent Lucidity, but I do know that if someone stirs us up so much that we feel it’s our duty to share how awful we think someone is, maybe it’s time to look at ourselves and ask why?
Why does Geoff bother you so, Facebook acquaintance?
Did you have a bad experience meeting him? Do you think he has what you desire? Is your feeling based on something from the past but no longer holds truth?
There is something out there many emotional educators talk about called the Life Mirror. It reminds us that you are a reflection of me and I am a reflection of you. If there is a quality you love or hate about me, that same quality exists in you.
The guy who thought that Geoff was a jerk, may need to ask himself truthfully what it is about being a jerk that stirs him up so? Sometimes being a jerk can provide you with exactly what you need in the right set of circumstances. Sometimes being a jerk is a mask of “protection” to hide sensitivity, feelings of inadequacy or a way to deal with overwhelm.
If our Facebook acquaintance would find the times that being a jerk served him well in once capacity or another he could make peace with his inner jerk and be able to reclaim a missing part of himself. Yes, we all need to embrace our inner jerk!
In Debbie Ford’s New York Times Bestseller, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, she reminds us that
“Using other people as mirrors helps you to decipher your mask. Challenge the person you think you are in order to unveil the person you are capable of becoming.”
The point is this, you can use all of the experiences in your life to uncover something beautiful about yourself if you are willing to get totally honest with yourself. When you encounter someone who just irritates you so, ask yourself “why” and “when have I been that?”
Likewise, if you admire someone’s generosity, beauty, confidence or humor, remind yourself that you also hold all of those same qualities or you wouldn’t recognize them in others.
We spend too much time covering up and hiding parts of ourselves out of fear trying to protect ourselves from pain. When we decide to look at the truth instead of living in denial (Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying) we can move powerfully forward towards a more fulfilling life.
Besides, if I had to be judged, I would much rather it be based on who I am now and not who others thought I was many years ago, I bet Geoff would feel the same!