In my forthcoming book It’s All About Me, the Involved Observer, I write about teachers in our lives. Those we had in the classroom, and those teachers who are around us every day.
The every day teachers might look and sound like great irritants in our daily lives. Yet these are the most powerful teachers we have! Those teachers who rock our boats, cause us to think beyond our experience, or test our patience, are the teachers who make us stretch our minds, to understand that what we think simply reflects what we have already embodied. Hopefully each of us continues to expand our minds everyday, but sometimes that one person in our office, or carpool, or in the theater will challenge our personal idea of right and wrong. Rather than condemn them, what if you were to consider that person who is such an irritant to you is actually you, inviting you, to release judgment, or fear of the unknown, or to see things in a new light?
I read recently that a stream makes its most beautiful sounds when it flows over rocks. To the stream the rocks may seem like an irritant, but in truth the turbulence which results brings life-giving oxygen to the water, refreshing it. So too, do those who seem most challenging in our lives; they give us the opportunity to refresh, to grow. Should we continue to avoid those turbulent experiences, we stagnate as individuals.
Even those who seem like an irritant to you, have a gift to offer.