I have been dealing with an issue in my life that involves people who are very close to me.
They are behaving in ways that in my opinion are shameful and embarrassing.
I have allowed myself to become very upset at times over their behavior.
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation?
If you have, then I think you are really going to enjoy today’s post!
Yesterday, as I was talking with Jeff, I (probably for the first time in weeks) actually heard how I sounded as I was complaining about this situation again.
And I DID NOT like the way I sounded at all!
I sounded very petty and judgmental.
I sounded shallow and mean.
I did what I have learned to do whenever I find myself on the verge of jumping down the rabbit hole.
I took a step back!
I asked myself some deep questions.
Is this situation REALLY any of my business?
Who am I to judge another?
Why is this bothering me so much?
Here are the answers to all of those questions and more:
The only way to be free of troublesome people is to be free of the part of you that’s out looking for trouble!
Freedom WILL come to you the moment you choose to pay more attention to the part of you that is divine than the part of you that is upset.
As long as we have been on this planet, wise teachers have shared great truths about the real cause of the pain in our lives.
And all of them, with little exception have pointed in exactly the opposite direction from where we’ve always tended to look.
According to all the great teachers…
The enemy is not what we think it is.
The real adversary in our lives,
That proverbial thorn in our side that leaves us aching and angry, and then sends us looking for someone to blame,
is not what we have always believed.
It is not something “out there.”
It’s something “in here”: an intimate enemy.
We can each name a hundred things that we think is the enemy, but the enemy is not:
- a friend who betrays you
- a shaky economic system
- a threatening boss
- some stubborn habit
- that rude driver
- a computer that won’t work
These things are all conditions that we must deal with.
But the real enemy is much closer to home.
Everyone senses what that intimate enemy is as soon as he or she hears the expression, “Closer to Home”.
We have all known that self-tormenting voice of defeat that rings loud and clear within our very own minds.
No one is as critical of us as we are of ourselves.
We have all been in a situation where we are being hit from all sides by differing opinions and ideas.
We have all been tossed and turned by those conflicting voices that send us first one way and then another, and finally make us doubt every decision.
No one sabotages our plans and happiness as we, ourselves, do.
No wonder none of our victories are permanent.
Oh, we may have “fixed” that enemy for a time.
Perhaps a heart-to-heart talk eased our anxiety about that relationship,
OR an especially good job done at the office made that employer finally take notice;
“fixing” that person outside does
to “fix” the problem inside.
That unhappy nature, that lies dormant in us all,
is just sitting there waiting,
like a snake ready to strike at the first opportunity to create more drama in our lives.
It has to.
That is the nature of the darker side of our personalities.
I read a story a while back that will help to explain this better.
“One day a man was walking around his property when a stone slipped unnoticed inside the sole of his shoe.
The stone was just big enough to set the man slightly off balance, and as he walked across an uneven area of ground, he slipped.
Annoyed, but confident of his actions, the man immediately “fixed” the problem by smoothing out the ground with a rake and shovel, but the stone lodged in his sole continued to cause him a great deal of pain.
Proceeding with his walk, and squinting his eyes against the growing discomfort, he failed to see the low-hanging branch of a tree ahead of him.
Sure enough, he walked right into it and bumped his nose!
Greatly irritated, he “fixed” this new problem by cutting down the tree.
More annoyed than ever, and unable to think clearly because of the now persistent pain, he got angry with his hired man for letting all these dangerous conditions exist in the first place.
The obvious “fix” for this problem was to fire him!
It is clear to us as observers of this man’s story that the way he perceived his situation ensured that there would never be an end to his problems and “fixes.”
Because the problems he “fixed” were only secondary outcomes.
He never addressed the real cause at all.
Did this story strike a chord with you?
I know it sure did with me!
If we are being really honest we will all have to admit that, just like the man in the story, we’ve been working very hard to correct conditions in our lives that are really no more than secondary outcomes, and not the real problem at all.
We fight a daily war to protect ourselves against enemies that, in fact, never are responsible for the pain we feel.
The resolution of ALL our difficulties lies in correctly identifying…
then eliminating the
“STONE IN OUR SOUL.”
But in order for this to be possible, you must be willing to embark on a journey of self-discovery that examines many hidden reaches of your being.
You have to uncover the REAL issue that is causing your pain.
In order to find relief from the stone, you need to stop looking outside your “shoe” for the source of the pain.
You are going to have to take the shoe off and uncover the truth.
And sometimes the truth can be stinky!