* originally published June 2011
“Your most challenging relationship is often your greatest teacher.” – Unknown
Do you have someone in your life whose habits or personality force you to speak up for yourself?
To find your voice and speak your truth? Someone who keeps you on your “A-game?”
You know who I’m referring to because you can picture them now and you’re nodding your head in agreement.
You prepare for interactions. You anticipate their next move and you might even rehearse conversations.
You’ve gone to battle with them – in your head.
Again and again, I’m reminded that the people who frustrate me most are the ones who have the most to teach me.
Their behavior flashes like a mirror in the sunlight– and creates opportunities for self-reflection.
The loud reinforce the power of a softly spoken word.
The pushy make me ask myself, “what are we rushing to and why do I care?”
The needy give me pause to ponder my own needs and if I’m expressing them.. or not.
The thoughtless remind me to make thoughtful choices.
And the selfish serve as a reminder of everything I don’t want to be.
They’re in our way for a reason, I think. Sometimes I can see the lessons; other-times they are seen years later.
If it takes the sand irritating the oyster to produce a pearl I ought to have a jewelry box full by now!
Whose behavior makes you more conscious of your own? What have you learned from dealing with a challenging personality?