by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
If you ever want an honest opinion of yourself, look closely at 10 of your acquaintances, or at some of your unusual experiences.
The Baal Shem Tov said that whatever we see in the people around us has to be in us, or we would not be able to see it in them.
Two of my friends went to the Lag B’Omer festival in Meron. If you have never witnessed that celebration you will not be able to fully appreciate this message. It is without doubt the most crowded, noisiest, most hustling, jostling, environment that you will ever be in. There are as many as 500,000 Jews all looking for something that cannot be seen. All of them are either trying to push their way into the holy tdzadik’s grave site, dancing away their worldly views, or trying to sell you a talisman guaranteed to protect you from everything from demons to poison ivy.
One of my friends who went this year is known to be a very loving, kind person. These are his main personality traits. The other friend, although a very nice person, is rather wrapped up in himself (to say it nicely).
The first friend came back from Meron raving about the ecstatic achdus (unity) of the crowd. “Jews of all stripes lovingly dancing together! Amazing love and fellowship!” he bubbled over with enthusiasm.
My other friend bemoaned the terrible ego-trip that all of those people demonstrated. “It was all about me! How I can push you so I can get into the grave site!”
Take a good look at the people you see in your daily life; you know, those nasty (or are they loving?) folk who happen to be drawn into your circle. Look carefully at each of them. Do not be sparing with your opinions. Judge them, and even write what you see in a diary. Then, study your evaluations one by one.
When you get a really good idea about all those jerks (or sweethearts) that G-d sends to you, see if you can find them inside yourself. After all, they are merely mirrors that G-d has sent to you so you can see if your makeup is on straight.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא