We all have one or several people in our life’s we wish we didn’t have to deal with. In some cases it’s our father in others it’s our boss, mother in law, or neighbor. Whatever the case may be, no matter how much you want to run or push them away they keep coming back. It’s like playing a video game and constantly loosing against the same “bad guy” and when you think you can skip the level you just find him again maybe dressed differently (I haven’t played a video game since Mario, so this is the best I’ve got for you)

Our reactions are usually that of an angry teenager, we get pissed, scream, curse, close the bedroom door and put on music. Most of us do it in our head, unfortunately others do it out loud. Whatever the case may be we need soften our hearts enough to change how we relate and react so that they no longer seem like the enemy but our teachers. We have been given the “opportunity” (I’m adding quotes because we barely see them as opportunities) to grow or as the Tibetan tradition calls it to “awaken”.

So here are a few practices to deal.

-          Pull yourself out of the story. You know how it’s so much easier to give friends advice on what to do? That’s because you are not as consumed with their stories. Try doing this for your own issues. 

-          Practice compassion. We are all going through something maybe its loneliness, depression, an abusive relationship, a really shitty day, whatever may be when we see people with an open heart so we can meet them with what they need.

I once heard a story of a teacher that sent a girl on detention, when the father heard the news he came into the classroom and started screaming and threatening the teacher. The habitual response from the teacher would be to throw him out or call security instead he sat there listening and when he finished screaming the teacher said “I see that you love your daughter” the father started crying. The teacher was able to do this because he saw passed his story and his ego instead he was able to connect with what the father need it.

-          Face the same way- This is more of a somatic practice but when interacting with challenging people don’t sit in front of them, sit beside them looking towards the same direction. This eases the physical tension and allows you to focus on a common ground. 

Start this practices small with things that don’t bother you as much, maybe while driving…. Compassion is not born overnight and it’s a muscle that serves us for life.

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