For a long time, I resisted people who pissed me off, made me angry, or screwed me over, because, well, I'm human. I resisted by cutting these people out of my life or, at the very least, making a very conscious effort to avoid/ignore them.
You've probably experienced this at some point too, because you're also human. So to keep it simple, let’s call these people “unlikeables”.
I wrote off the unlikeables’ behavior as rude, selfish and egotistical, only focusing on how they affected me and made my experience negative.
And while I suppose this resistance was fine (and gratifying for me) in the short term, in the long run it just delayed my anger, my frustration and my pissed off-ness.
What you resist persists.
What you resist will literally show up again and again until you deal with it, process it, learn from it. The Universe is funny that way.
So in the case of the unlikeables, I was totally blind to the perspective that maybe these people are showing up in my life for a reason. At the time I was more concerned with protecting my ego -- being pissed off right back, giving them attitude, shutting them out of my life -- than I was with learning from each person and experience.
And guess what? Despite my best efforts to avoid the unlikeables, these people -- or people like them -- kept showing up in my life, testing me and challenging me.
I was resisting, so they were persisting, which just extended my suffering.
Can you relate?
This went on and on for years until one day someone asked me:
What if this person is your greatest teacher?
It was like a big Universal whack over my head.
What IF this person is my greatest teacher? Had I spent years and years unnecessarily suffering and being annoyed and taking it all personally? (Yep.)
Up until that point, I’d been blinded by my ego. This happens to the best of us, especially when we take things personally. This is the part of us that says,
Why would they talk to me like that?
They were purposely pissing me off.
What did I ever do to them?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t speak up and stand up for yourself (quite the opposite). But in situations like your boss ticking you off or a friend getting under your skin, what if you considered this:
It’s not personal.
Really, what if this person is crossing your path not to annoy you, but to teach you a lesson you need to learn? A lesson that might’ve otherwise taken years and years to learn?
This change in perspective created huge internal shifts for me, and it could start shifting things for you, too.
It’s like having a birds’ eye view of a situation instead of getting caught up in the anger, the frustration and the pissed off-ness.
And most of all, it’s freeing because:
Teachers are crossing your path every day, so keep an open and curious mind. These sort of situations are rarely about you, so seek to uncover the lesson behind it.
Literally ask yourself: What can I learn from this? Write a list, then silently thank that person for being your teacher.
It might feel funny at first, but try it. See how that shifts the way you view the unlikeables in your life.
Sending you tons of love, always.