As far back as I can remember there have also been people in my life that I just don’t get on with.
People who I think talk too much, are too judgemental or too critical (all categories I’m sure I fall into at times). I can remember thinking things like “if that person would just quit I would love this job” or “everything was going well until this person came into my life.” But then time would pass and I would go one way and the people causing me strife would go another and that would be that.
Until someone new came along. They would irritate or enrage me and the cycle would begin again.
But now I see that there will always be people like this and it’s up to me to come to terms with it. I am fully aware that the world is a flawed place, people are imperfect and so am I. At best there is a balance between good and bad, between love and hate. At worst the darkness of the world seems to overshadow the light. But I can choose how I am going to let the the difficult stuff—the things I see as flawed—affect me.
As soon I started thinking like this I felt a change come over me.
Instead of wanting the negativity in my life to go away I have come to love it and look at is an essential part of being alive on this planet. I can’t just appreciate the beauty of one side of life and run away from the ugliness of another. Life is life—in its full completeness—and if I am going to appreciate it I need to appreciate it as a whole.
And it’s worked.
Now I am thankful towards the very people who I once wished would disappear. They provide variety and flavour to my life and offer up chances to practice acceptance, and more importantly, compassion. I try to realise that if I feel this way about this person then perhaps others do and perhaps the person knows it and it causes them sadness. Or perhaps the qualities that I dislike in them come out of a deeper sadness or insecurity they have about themselves. I don’t want to compound those feelings but instead use love to relieve them.
If we pick and choose who we love then our love is rooted in selfishness. If we love openly then it can include all the world and will be in never-ending supply.
So next time you catch yourself bitching about how someone did this or someone said that try to stop yourself and smile.
Try to remind yourself that feeling this way is a part of life and since you feel this way you are alive. And being alive is a precious jewel that no words can sully and no actions diminish.
More from Mike & The Mindful Life Illustrated:
Author & artist: Mike Medaglia
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren