(Continued from "Understanding and Compassion")
I woke up this morning with the words in my head: "Illness and injury are a call for needed change." I have been going through some big personal changes this year, and clearly this was a voice from my soul reminding me to keep on that path of transformation.
We don't need to experience painful situations in order to grow, but often, we do end up going there. When we get colds, we know we need to slow down and take better care of ourselves. The same with physical accidents. But so too with personal injury.
When we face difficult people, it is important to not take another's state of mind personally. We have no control over what others think or do, or how they behave. All we can do is let people know how we feel and ask kindly for them to stop if what they are doing is hurting us.
But if healthy dialogue is not possible and changes do not happen, we may need to look at deeper changes we may need to make in our life.
Perhaps, when we face challenging people and situations, we are reminded to make changes in our life. Perhaps the toxic supervisor reminds us that we really don't like the work we are doing anyway and we had best move on from there. Perhaps the nasty boss is helping to push us out the door because really, that is where we belong, in another job. The universe has a way of making sure we learn our lessons.
Changing deep patterns in our self and in our life is not easy, because we tend to be attached to things and often live in fear. We need to learn to be ok with these shadow aspects of ourselves, and make sure we do not add insult to injury by beating ourselves up for not knowing better or doing better. I mentioned last week that change begins with acceptance. We need to accept where we are at so that we can change. We can accept the hurt, the discomfort, the rage, the desire to run towards and beat someone up or run away in fear for our lives. These are all part of the fullness of the human experience. When we watch and "stay with" the emotional flux, eventually they settle and greater wisdom arises.
When we are injured emotionally or physically by a difficult person, we may need to ask ourselves what is balanced action in response to this. The answer to this question will only arise once our reactive nature has settled. And with this, time is a great healer.
We may need to give voice and let the other person know that we found what they did hurtful. But if we are attached to the other person hearing us, or changing, inevitably we will get caught up in the the same rage-filled cycle of feeling hard done by.
Others don't like to change any more than you do, so expecting them to see your point of view may only lead to frustration. If they do, then you can discuss ways to work together in good spirit. If they don't, you may need to consider a different work environment.
Our lives are very short. I don't believe we are meant to be unhappy. If you find yourself in a work or living environment with people who are unwilling to treat you with the respect you deserve, you may need to change your whereabouts, relationships, or job.
Change is part of life. All things in nature come, go and are reborn. We must not be afraid of change as it is quite literally natural. We can understand our resistance to change and where it comes from. But we must ultimately soften and embrace change.
Thank you for sending in this question about dealing with feeling attacked.
Enjoy the rest of the week and see you again on Sunday!
Reminder: Tomorrow is the last day to send in your questions for next week's blog entries. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.