We Are All Teachers and Students To Each Other

Lately I have been getting more and more distant from my roommate who is also the landlord and owner of the home I live in. When I first moved in here, I was still partially active in some of my addictions and quite toxic on some level as well. Over the past year, that has dramatically changed and the more that I’ve grown spiritually, the more I seem to be clashing with my roommate.

Since moving in, I have butted heads with my roommate over different things, but all of them have an underlying theme. Generally, in each case, there was something that I’ve been doing that bothers him and he wants it to stop. It started first with the garbage can and the bag that is put within it. For whatever reason, I have had difficulty getting the bag in the can in the way that he does it. Ironically my partner has the same can and there too, I have the same difficulty. What started out as a simple suggestion of how I can do it better turned into him demanding I watch him more than once on how it’s done. The same behaviors of him having to show me how to do something as he does also has occurred with how I flush the toilet (as the handle sticks at times), with what I do or don’t place in the recyclables bin, with what I can and can’t put in the dishwasher, with water that I let drip after getting a glass of water from the refrigerator, with what is allowed to go in the garbage cans and what is not, and well the last one was a doozy for me. He had issues with the baby wipes that I use in the bathroom and how I dispose of them and went as far as getting on the web to look for alternatives for me to use.

In each of these things, arguments have ensued between us and I realized today that these battles aren’t between us at all, they’re between him and his father and me and my mother. The few things I know about my roommate’s father is only because I met him once for a dinner and I saw the way he treated his son at that time. Sadly, my roommate’s father looks down upon him and he’s not subtle about it. He judges his work, how he lives his life, and quite often is not so kind in things he verbalizes about him. While I don’t know the validity of this because I wasn’t there to see my roommate in his childhood years, I would gather that his father pointed out quite often all the things that he felt he was doing wrong. I’m sure that he even went as far as having to show him how to do those things the way that he saw fit rather than allowing his son to figure them out on his own. I believe that until one becomes more self-aware, one fails to see how much they are like their own parents or like those that raised them. It’s become clear to me that my roommate is very much like his father and that I’m just playing out that role of him as a young boy except he hasn’t figured that out yet.

I’ve been there, in that fog, acting just like my parents and not even realizing it. Through a lot of pain and healing, I’m very much more self-aware today of when I am acting like them. Let’s take my mother for example. She was very controlling of me. Quite often, what I did seemed never good enough in her eyes. Anything that I ever undertook, seemed to always need more suggestions on how I can do whatever it was better. And the more that she did that behavior towards me, the more I became resentful and enraged within. So while my roommate in all of those situations is playing the role of his father and I’m playing the role for him as a young boy, I have realized through my meditation and therapy that he in turn for me is playing the role of my mother and I am playing the young me finally standing up for myself. And what he isn’t seeing is that what I’m doing to him, standing for myself, is something he has wanted to do for most of his life to his own father. And as I do that, it enrages him, because he’s not there yet.

Unfortunately, when one person is self aware and one is not, it creates disruption between the two. I can’t make my roommate see that he is acting like his father when he points out things that I’m doing wrong in his mind. The only thing I have control over is how I react. That is the lesson I’m still trying to learn. While I’ve been standing up for myself a lot more lately, I continue to react with anger and I know that’s not the way of peaceful living and oneness with God at the center. I’m guessing there is still part of my parent’s energy that I haven’t let go of yet as I’m sure that if I had, I would be able to keep myself calm and collected when my roommate goes down the path of trying to control me.

Thankfully, I’ve at least learned that we are all teachers and students to each other and that when we find ourselves being challenged by someone, there is probably a lesson being taught by them that I still have to learn. Teachers come in all forms, they don’t necessarily have to be those we find at places of education. They can be roommates, friends, bosses, or people that we come across at any point of the day. Sometimes I wish I could show my roommate how we are just living out roles that we took on from our childhood when we get in these bouts, but his path is his path and mine is mine. All I have control over is my sense of oneness with Source and how I react to things around me. I am glad for all the teachers that come into my life, especially my roommate, as he is helping me to remove any unwanted energy I still hold within me from my past demons like my mother.

The lesson in life for me today is that when I find myself being challenged, getting frustrated, or being angry towards anyone in my life, I know it’s only a teacher that has come into my life to help me grow spiritually and let go of things that prevent that from happening.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson