There are just so many reasons that someone might do the things they do and feel what they feel, that we can’t possibly conceive of. The only one we conceive of is the one that has to do with us. The one that includes us in the scenario.
That is the way of the mind. "God, it must have been me."
Now, of course, most probably, the person on the street giving you the "dirty look," actually forgot her glasses this morning and is squinting to see. Probably her boyfriend broke up with her two days ago, and her mother was on her case this morning about where the hell she's going to live now. Meanwhile, your mind- "I knew my skirt was too short. Everyone is going to think I'm a total slut."
Reality Check: It has nothing to do with you.
Now, it is true in some cases, were you to ask the "dirty looker" on the street, she would say, "Yeah I gave her a dirty look. Her skirt's too short. Where does she get off looking like such a slut?" Think of your most nightmarish insult or accusation. "Yes," they may say- it's about you. "You did this to me," a personal affront.
The reality is that how you look, what you said, how you offended, affects them because of an inconceivably complex network of programming, conditioning, experience, an overwhelming number of things that you can’t possibly know about. Something from their past, their conditioning, their belief system- in something that they’re holding, a hope or expectation repeatedly betrayed.
This is not to take personal accountability and listening away. It is to make us listen in a non-personal way, enough to actually be present there, with whatever it is that they are saying, in compassion, rather than defense. In a clear-seeing open hearted expression of healing and unconditional love!
How miraculous, to be unconditional Presence in the face of blame, damnation, and insult from another.
Yes You Can.
You are not what YOU think you are, let alone what someone else thinks. You are not what your behavior and words evoke within them. Past is vast and elusive. Our trigger-points, a minefield of pain.
You are the listening. You are the love.
Rush to it. With all the strength in the Universe to borrow.
The evolutionary implications, the super-bonus-benefit in the wisdom of this practice, is soon you will hear the mind and take it less seriously, less personally. You will hear and know, "Oh, love, you are so conditioned and are afraid in 10,000 baffling ways. I will sit, and observe, and love you, without changing or reacting- or acting on your sweet insanity. I will be. And I love you."
Practicing with those outside of us is practice for the inside. And vice versa.
They are one in the same.