Learning From Those Around Us

February 8th, 2016

Earlier today I was talking to a good friend when I saw she’d posted the following quote on her business Facebook Page:

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~ Pema Chodron

Our particular conversation had been about someone we both have as an acquaintance, who continually tries to bring negativity and controversy into many situations.   Being around her is like walking through a field of land mines, having to be very careful where you step, because the potential of an explosion is highly possible.

Let me say that this person has some beautiful qualities and a good heart being one of them.   I believe she has good intentions for the most part.    What trips her up?   She does-      As is the case with most of us-  It isn’t our obstacles that trip us up- it’s how we react to them when they happen.

Does it mean we shouldn’t ever get frustrated?   No, that isn’t remotely realistic- and Lord knows I have my moments of flying on the ‘broom’ as I like to call it.   The biggie for me is that I don’t live there-   I have a moment (sometimes a day), give it some thought-  and try to understand the source of where within me it’s coming from (it’s ALWAYS within us), work through it and continue moving forward.   Sometimes it takes longer than other times- depending on what’s going on, and what time of the month it is.  haha   I try not to get ‘stuck’ there.

When I was thinking about this person earlier today, I found myself being curious (as I am about human behavior, as I find it fascinating), and wondering what it is about her that makes it so much harder for her.    It didn’t take me long to realize that it was within her own self-admissions-  She’s miserable where she is.   She’s said it time and time again about how she hates where she lives, she hates her husbands family for the most part, she creates these really high expectations and gets not only angry, but also falls into the victim role when things don’t meet those expectations.

Unfortunately, she also wants to share her misery with others- so I believe that because of that, she tends to want to spark that same type of misery and anger with those around her.   You know the old adage-  ‘Misery loves company’-  well nothing could be truer in this situation.

I do, however, believe that she’s doing the best that she can where she is right now.   I don’t mean geographically, but I mean mentally she can’t see a broader scope that change is possible within her, as she’s resigned herself to being miserable and will only be happy whens he moves ‘home’ to her British roots.   So she is stuck in a cycle of misery that she has created for herself.

We’ve all done that haven’t we?  Lord knows I have.  I can be my own worst enemy at times-  and thankfully I have learned enough in life to know that I’m also a few choices away of changing that thought process.  It isn’t always easy but it’s very doable.

As a firm believer that every person we meet has the potential to teach us something-  I am able to find that even this lady teaches me.    She serves as a reminder to me on several different topics-    1- That our thoughts become our reality.    2- That we have the choice to make a change, or not.  3- That when life gives us difficulties, roadblocks. hurdles and even tragedy- that we have the choice to allow something to be a source of growth to make us better, or it can make us bitter.  Ultimately that’s up to us.

So I’m thankful for those lessons.

It also teaches me that there is nothing we can ‘want’ bad enough for someone for them to make a change in their life-   change has to come from them seeing something isn’t working for them, not ‘us’ seeing that from the outside looking in from an entirely different life perspective.

I do believe that we all do what works for us and ‘feeds’ us in some way or another-  even when it isn’t the most healthy of choices, and when those no longer serve us and give us the payout that we became accustomed to, we can see things from a different view and choose what our next step will be.

What valuable lesson has someone taught you recently? 



2 Responses to “Learning From Those Around Us”

  1. I hate to see people who are clearly not happy with their situation but unable or unwilling to get out of it or change it.

    And it makes me realize: If I only notice these folks when they try and spread their misery around, how many more are there who dwell within that place silently?

    It’s so hard to break out of a rut.

  2. admin says:

    Nasreen- That is a very good point. I suspect there are many who dwell in that place silently, unfortunately. It’s hard to encourage people if we don’t know they are struggling, but yet- at the same time- it’s so difficult when someone is self proclaimed miserable and has made it clear they will only be ‘better’ if they get something that isn’t as easily attainable. It makes me so sad for them.

    You are right, it’s definitely not easy to break out of a rut, but anything is possible with faith and the desire..

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