News Flash: I am not perfect! Sorry to break any hearts. I am definitely a work in progress just like everyone else.
Case in point, there are many people in my present life who are difficult to deal with. (Don’t worry. If you are reading this blog, I cannot be referring to you.) I caught myself feeling negative emotions toward these people a few times last week. Did that help the situation any? Of course not. So I decided to take my own advice and STOP, BREATH, and take a moment to figure out a way to deal with the situation proactively.
I decided to release any aversion to the discomfort of dealing with a difficult person. Releasing aversion to painful situations is a part of mindfulness training. (Thanks, Steve! :)) As a society, we are taught to run from pain, to pop an Advil for physical pain, or to anesthetize emotional pain with alcohol, food, etc. The alternative is to walk directly into the painful situation without fear. Here we can flex our emotional muscles and grow spiritually. Even on the physical plane, this can reap great rewards, i.e. training for a race, or yoga teacher training. Both are physically painful, but with that pain comes strength of character.
Another really excellent way to handle situations like this is to realize that the person who is being difficult is likely not doing so to attack you. Most people who act inappropriately are actually miserable, or are dealing with something difficult without success. Their inappropriate actions are generally a cry for help.
So when dealing with difficult people, I try to remember that there is, in fact, a divine person inside the disagreeable exterior. Furthermore, for me to take their emotional disturbances personally does not serve me in the least. The way people treat me or act around me is their problem, not mine. What matters is my reaction to them. Don’t let anyone dim your shine!
Moreover, living mindfully and lovingly is a lot more enjoyable than reacting negatively to situations. Always remember the most important lesson of all: try to be the best person you can be today. If you make mistakes, like I do, just keep trying. Living a higher path is a process, so be easy on yourself. When in doubt, just STOP, BREATH, and take a moment to process the emotions in a positive and loving way.
With loving kindness,