How many memes would you guess you’ve seen this week? This year? In your lifetime? A meme, for all non-social media users, is typically a small square that contains a phrase or saying on it. Often those sayings are inspirational, humorous, holiday related, politically motivated, mean-spirited, propaganda – the range is quite diverse. I began to wonder if the, “be more like this” memes, are either aspirations of who a person wishes to be, or wishes more of the world to be, or they are judgments of what they feel other people are not.
One of my friend’s has an abusive boss who is unkind in their communications, disrespects other peoples’ time, and is loaded with ego. One day this boss posted the “Four Agreements;” part of the book, “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” by Don Migel Ruiz. The Four Agreements are: 1) Be impeccable with your words 2) Don’t take anything personally 3) Don’t make assumptions 4) Always do your best… They are absolutely life-changing concepts that can help you refocus your attention onto your intentions and your actions, as well as your reactions.
I began to wonder: are the memes we are drawn to, our subconscious, or our soul, pointing us to the tools we are in need of in our lives, or maybe even, the tools we’re celebrating having already done the inner work to uncover? Perhaps the memes we choose are a mirror, reflecting back an attribute that we need awareness around; showing us what is impacting us on a deeper level, to guide us on our path towards our desired life. Our soul trying to connect us to the very energy that is aligned to the attributes needed to move us forward.
I think, so often, when we judge others for their behaviors, the specific nuances we are noticing to create that judgment are all filtered through what we believe we are lacking within ourselves, or the ‘should be’s’ that we feel are right. Highlighting someone else’s weaknesses is so much easier than recognizing our own. I always think back to that age old wisdom – mind your own business. If, instead of focusing our mind’s attention on judging how someone else handles a situation, or dresses, or raises their children, or reacts under stress, wouldn’t it prove far more productive to turn that introspective eye back onto ourselves? Especially as we never know exactly what someone else is going through to accurately gauge their responses to begin with. And on a side note: Judgments are based on our personal beliefs about how things ‘should’ be – they are not facts, and they are not the same for each person. Science equals facts, judgments equal opinions.
I do think that we use memes to share what we would like to see more of in the world. But, I have to be honest – often times it feels like shaming. As though the mean boss is saying – I use impeccable words, and if only all of you did, the world would be a better place. Instead, I think it’s fair to say that if you are a person who does use impeccable words, I’d wager it’s not one hundred percent of the time – because you’re human. So, the remaining percent, when we fall out of the now and into our story and our patterns… eek! And thus, mind your own business, by tending to your own self, once again proves valuable advice. If this boss were to reflect on the meme they were drawn to, and genuinely reflect on their own personal actions and choices, that would prove so much more helpful to the world than any shared meme.
So, if you’re reading this while simultaneously scrolling through your page feed for the memes you’ve recently shared, to see what they say about you, then I’ve struck the self-growth chord within you. Be proud of yourself for that! Recognizing our patterns; what memes we’re drawn to, what we’re annoyed by, what angers us; they are all telling you what you believe to be true about yourself, others, and the world on a deeper level. Use your meme mirror to mind your own business.