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Difficult People are Messengers for Our Unhealed Parts

Teal Swan

We all have difficult people in our lives, it’s part of the human experience. Typically, we tend to see them as a nuisance, individuals we have to put up with, or even avoid. This also comes with it’s share of suffering. I’m not familiar with the author of the quote above, but the message is worth being curious about.

What if we could change our perception to seeing difficult people as messengers or teachers who arouse something inside of us that needs to be cared for or loved?

If we do this, might we become less reactive toward ourselves and other people? Inevitably, won’t this provide a chance for more relationships to improve? Might it be easier to let go of bitter grudges and move toward strengthening mindfulness, self-compassion, and forgiveness? This isn’t Pollyanna, it’s a practical approach that can help us focus more on what matters in life.

Moreover, consider this: If relationships improve, might that support communities, regions and countries to improve?

Is it possible to set off a spark in this way that leads to not only the healing of our individual being, but the healing of humanity?

Whoa, that’s a bit too large to imagine perhaps, so let’s just begin with today and ourselves.

Today, try this…

Let it be our intention going forward to regard people who trigger negative emotions in us as “messengers for the unhealed part of our being.” They are arousing something inside of us that is reaching out for self-love.

What if we just began practicing this in the same way that we practice riding a bike or playing piano? Is it possible that our brains will begin to memorize the procedure and it will become automatic?

Can we get the neurons to fire together in this way and will they eventually wire together?

Try this out as an experiment and allow your experience to be the guide.

Warmly,

Elisha Goldstein

Author of Uncovering Happiness and co-author of MBSR Every Day

Difficult People are Messengers for Our Unhealed Parts


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.


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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2016). Difficult People are Messengers for Our Unhealed Parts. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2016/01/difficult-people-are-messengers-for-our-unhealed-parts/

 

Last updated: 29 Jan 2016
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