Not a Problem, an Opportunity

We all get angry sometimes.  That’s just a natural part of being human (or maybe just of being).  And, I suspect – unless I’m the odd one out here – that we all have people who push our buttons and make us feel irritable and frustrated pretty much constantly.  You know the people – the ones you cannot maintain a nice nonverbal comportment with… the ones you are always wondering what their bad motivation is this time… the ones who seem to just do whatever they can to get in your way.  Uh huh… them.

Well, lately, pretty much all of my meditation has involved mantras/mindfulness regarding patience.  I know this is something I need and want more of in my life.  I need to be more patient with myself, and I need to be more patient with others.  It’s helping, some, but I’ve got a long long (did I mention it was long?) way to go to really be the person I want to be – to be the person who can maintain equanimity, even in the face of my own shortcomings or the shortcomings of others.  I want to be someone who doesn’t feel the need to question the motives of others – just accepts their actions.  I want to be the person who is less snarky, less hard on myself, less easy to anger, less easy to be hurt.  Wow.  It’s a task.

So, this week, I have been working on rethinking the way I frame my experience with my regular “button pushers.”  I know who they are, so that part is pretty easy.  Now I am trying to recondition my response to them – to not view their approach as a challenge, causing me to tense up my muscles and my mind.  Instead, I’m working on thinking of these people as an opportunity.  They are an opportunity to exercise patience and equanimity.  They are a chance to respond to someone else with enough peace that it seeps over into their being and creates more serenity and calm for them as well (and this is good, because the people who tend to wind me up are people who see almost everything and everyone as “against” them).  It’s a win-win.

It’s working pretty well so far, but it’s certainly not easy and requires continual reminders to myself.  But, if I can make it work, imagine how good it will be for my inner peace!

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