Try an experiment. Ask the people that know you well how they perceived you when they first met you. The first impression feedback I get most often is "gentle," "calming," and "happy." Dig a layer deeper and descriptors like "intense," "real," and "crazy" start popping up ("real" and "crazy" always appearing separately and never as "real crazy").
The people who know me best, the ones I have lived many lifetimes with, know that all these things are true. They also know that under the sweet heart on my sleeve, I carry a little vial of poison that makes appearances that sometimes even surprise me. I teach a yoga of elevation and claim to want everyone I encounter in life to feel loved, but sometimes I come out with some seriously rude words and/or actions.
With growing consciousness around this incongruity, I began to watch myself and realize that this is a reflex to sensitivity. When I am most vulnerable and someone hurts my tender little feelings (and how tender they are!), I bust out the poison and spray it all over. It's a childish defense mechanism, but seems to be my preferred method of taking care of myself in these situations.
In a couple instances, I have been holding onto old hurts and continuing to flash on the offending parties even though they haven't done anything wrong in a while- I just haven't gotten over it. The other day, one of my very best friends who knows me far too well, called me out on this. I admitted to doing something purely out of spite and she told me that she was disappointed, that she expected better of me. I seized up for a while, fuming and mulling it over, but ultimately realized that she was right. I DO know better ways to handle feelings of rejection and disappointment, I am simply relying on the old way I've been doing things, which is totally out of sync with my advancing age, spiritual practice and ability to accurately articulate my feelings. Lame.
This is what I've decided:
Before I was born this time around, God and I sat down for a chat. He gave me a list of countless people and a big, full heart and said, "Honey, you will encounter all these people in your life journey. I want you to radiate and shine that queenly heart so that each person you meet feels the heat of my love in your presence. Love without limit because I am that love and I am Infinite."
It's my job to deliver love. I don't get to discriminate against someone just because they bruised my ego or didn't fall in line with my agenda. I want to get elevated and expansive, and help other people do the same. Being mean is limiting and diminishing, and it certainly doesn't help create a better tomorrow, which Yogi Bhajan insisted was the truest, highest purpose of communication. The right thing to do is always the right thing to do, regardless of how I feel about it.
At the end of the day, I am not my unconscious, defensive reactions. I really am gentle and happy, and I'm glad that people feel calm with me. It's time to drop old, outdated wounds, drop ego driven agendas, drop reactionary behavior. It's time to do my damn job, already. Being mean and loving unconditionally both require effort, so why not make the effort heart expanding and uplifting?
Special (love) delivery for you!