I think we all have people in our lives who we would classify as difficult. Family members, friends, significant others, co-workers who frustrate us, upset us, disappoint us and even make us angry. We may go through experiences such as betrayal, dishonesty, neglect, or abandonment. We may hear the words in our head, “how could they,” “why would they,” or “what is wrong with them.” We don’t understand why these relationships can feel frustrating, exhausting, and confusing and even further, don’t know how to find our way through them.
If you pay careful attention to the wording in the first paragraph of this blog, you will notice the way the statements are written as though these experiences are happening to me. Whether intended or not, the blame is implied to fall on the other individual, leaving me as the innocent victim. Even though it may feel as though things happen to us, the reality is that we are equal participants in every experience and every individual we encounter in our lives. As I am sure you have read, people enter our lives to teach us a lesson, we call in the people that we need in each moment, and others are only a reflection of what we are on the inside. It all makes sense in theory, but finding a way to apply these theories to our most difficult encounters can prove to be a challenge.
I can say that I have had my own experiences with such relationships and have attempted to navigate my way through them in a conscious way that allows me to honor myself while being guided by compassion. I do my best to live to my potential and follow a spiritual path of guidance. For me, I understand much of what I read and then make the attempt to apply it. To say the least, it has been a difficult process of growth and learning that has stirred up pain, fear, and my own insecurities. It has at times felt like a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. As I sit back and try to make sense of it, I am able to see the wisdom I have gained on this path to open-heartedness.
What is most important, is finding a way to understand that things do not happen to us and we are never victims, unless we make the choice to be. Difficult experiences and people aren’t happening to us, they are being provided by us and for us as mirrors into the growth we desire and a push forward to that place we aspire to be. As I look at those in my life where there is most pain, I realize that it is those persons that have led me to my greatest growth. They have been my greatest teachers, for it is where I have been challenged to move away from my comfort zone and find my way through walls that have been built up. It is in the moment that I understand and own that I am co-creating with others, every experience in my reality, that I am able to redefine difficult people as opportunities. I am able to find that ever desired space for tolerance.