As peaceful as I try to be, I must admit that I’ve got several pet peeves. I get super-steamed when someone leaves their shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot or just props it up on the curb next to their car instead of taking it to the designated area that the store creates for us to use. It makes me c-r-a-z-y! I say things in my mind like, “Those people are so lazy! Would it have killed them to take a few more steps and put it where it belongs?!” Or, “They don’t care about anyone but themselves. They just leave their crap laying around for the rest of us to have to deal with!”
Yes. All of this over a shopping cart left in the parking lot.
I also get all jacked-up when I hear people gossiping and playing their own version of fill-in-the-blank in someone else’s life. I get hot under the collar and have thoughts like, “Oh, and your life is exactly perfect, right?” Or, “You are so unkind and judgmental and you have no facts at all! You need to shut the bleep up and mind your own business!”
I mean, honestly, the veins in my neck are popping out as I write that. It’s not just me, is it? Do you have any pet peeves?
I think our pet peeves show up to help us and not just to annoy us. I think they are here to help us understand what’s most important to us. I also think they can tell us where, in our own lives, we might need to make a few adjustments. I really do.
In the case of my little problem with people who leave their shopping cart where it doesn’t belong, I can see how that triggers one of my core values of taking full responsibility for my life and all that’s in it. (Or not in it, as the case may be.) When I interpret someone else’s actions as “not taking full responsibility,” I react poorly.
Now, you’re probably thinking that what someone else chooses to do has nothing to do with me, and you’re absolutely right. So, where this becomes really beautiful and helpful for me is when I notice I’m feeling peeved and then ask the question, “Where in my own life am I not taking full responsibility?” Because here’s the deal, unless there is some place in my own life where I’m not living up to my own standard, what someone else does is simply not going to get that peeved response from me. That’s where the gift of the peeve is. I just have to be willing to take the gift. Peeved is offering me the opportunity to look within, know myself on a deeper level, and then honor what matters most to me. Pretty sweet gift.
No matter what is peeving me, I know there is something about me that I need to look at.
What can you learn about yourself from your pet peeves? I’d love to hear about it.