People Who Frustrate You Are Your Greatest Blessing

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A few years ago, I worked with a woman (let's call her Susan) who drove me absolutely crazy. It seemed to me that every other sentence out of her mouth was a complaint. She was unnecessarily loud, angry, and not not to mention rude. I dreaded the thought of having to be in the same room as her, much less be cordial, or as my spiritual path would suggest, peaceful and loving.

I prayed for guidance. I asked the Universe, God, to show me how to see the goodness in Susan. I prayed for my thoughts to be corrected, and I asked the Universe to teach me how to love Susan like a sister. Why? Not for her benefit, and certainly not because the thoughts in my mind said she deserved a modicum of kindness; to the contrary, I believed her to be mean-spirited. But carrying around negative thoughts and judgments about her was not serving my highest good. It made me feel stressed, pessimistic, and negative. I decided I would choose a different path -- the path of love.

After a two week vacation, I returned to work with a renewed vigor and the correct perception of Susan. She wasn't trying to be mean; she was wounded. She lashed out because of her insecurity. As A Course in Miracles would say, her behaviors were a call for love. I felt a deep compassion for her, and I found myself opening up more, telling her details about my weekends and inquiring about her life.

The truth is: Susan was a gift, a blessing. Consciously, I thought of myself as the nicest, sweetest person on earth (as most people do), but my judgment of Susan was an opportunity to see where I was lacking in love, forgiveness, and compassion. 

It's never about the other person. Even the most horribly behaving human being should be treated with kindness and love. 

Someone else's negative behavior is not an excuse for us to become judgmental or critical. The Universe will continue to bring us people who exhibit unlovable qualities until we find a way to accept them. The more we resist people who frustrate us, the more we will manifest similar people in our everyday realities. Why? Someone can only get under our skin if he or she possesses a quality that we have (even a little) that we are not willing to look at. 

The people who frustrate us the most are our living and breathing shadows. They are the parts of ourselves that we disown and project out into our reality.

So, when we feel the most fed up, it is the best time to choose love, meaning, that is the moment to forgive that person, to decide to treat him or her with kindness, and to take the high road. When we make a higher-vibrating choice, our relationships transform, and further, we heal and integrate a shadow part of ourself that we were previously unwilling to see.

Jessica Leon