One of the quotes I come back to repeatedly in my own journey are the words of Iyanla Vanzant who taught me to give thanks for those who get on my last nerve. Each of them in their own way is helping me to learn something about myself. So often, when we find someone difficult to deal with, we focus our energy on how difficult they are.
One of the things I have come to realize is that it often times it is those people who are here to teach me a lesson. Sometimes they are challenging me to look at when in my life I have been that way. As much as I would like to say I have never been a pain in someone’s life, I am sure I have and will be, albeit intentionally or not. Being able to look at what it is I find so difficult helps me to see how I have done something in my own life. When I work on my own forgiveness for ever having been difficult to interact with, I come to realize the person I am interacting with now is not quite as difficult as I had originally imagined.
Often times, as I was reminded when reading The Buddha Walks Into the Bar, to think about what is going on in the other person’s life. Sometimes when I am interacting with someone who is difficult, I try to think about what is going on in the other person’s life. Then I think about a time when I was feeling those feelings and what I was going through. It helps me to interact with them with more compassion.
I am so grateful for those who are a pain in my life, who can be difficult to deal with at times, or even difficult to deal with all the time because they all have something to teach me about myself, about grace and compassion
There are times that I have had to make difficult decisions in my life, like breaking up with a partner of 10 years (no not Zoe). It was not that the person was difficult but the decision was, or more appropriately dealing with the other person’s decision was. What helped me was when I put a picture of her on a pillow and began talking to her about my feelings. Ultimately, I reached a place where I had said all I needed to say and then I talked to the pillow about forgiveness. In doing so, I taught myself how to honor and affirm my feelings and a healthier way to heal and find wholeness in my life.
Life and the people who come in it and through it have taught me so much. The lessons may not have always come in the way I wanted them, however, they have each taught me something which is helped me to grow and evolve. Be open to the lessons that come in life, even when they come through difficult people and situations.