Have you ever been in a room where someone is really bitching about someone else? You find yourself getting involved and then walk away just feeling 'dirty' and wondering how on earth you let yourself behave in this way, knowing full well that the minute your back is turned you'll be the next one. Or worse, you start the bitching yourself but for some reason it's OK, later does it make you feel good? I know I do all these things at times. Sometimes it is the inevitable politics of the workplace but should it be acceptable, does it create an emotionally safe place to be, could a few people not behaving in this way make a difference?
I have always appreciated honest, warm and genuine people, people who tell you as it is to your face even if it might not always be what you want to hear. Most of my close friends are like this, we reflect on what is being said to us learn and grow, I see it as a strength in them and really value their opinions and it makes me feel safe.
Paul has been away for a couple of weeks, I've had a tough week which I won't go into as it will get sorted but I sought counsel from my friends and colleagues. However someone who had seemed to want to genuinely help, not a close friend mind, went behind my back to a few people and 'bitched' and those friends bitched back and told me. It left me feeling angry and hurt and I've completely lost trust in her, and actually would have rather not known. In the meantime it is a 'problem' for me, so what do to?
Whatever I do I am treating it as a lesson, I could get angry and reactive, talk behind her back some more, or I guess talk to her face to face and be upfront. My meditation teacher once said 'when people are unkind or upset you could meditate on compassion and send out love to them' (I know the Dalai Lama also advices this and have read other similar stories).
I've got a little book called 'Don't Sweat The Small Stuff' by Richard Carlson it is one of my favourite books, Paul bought it for me ages ago and it is well read, it's just a really thoughtful and supportive book always leaving peace and calm in it's wake. This chapter stood out today -
'Transform Your Relationship to Your Problems'.
'Obstacles and problems are part of life. True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice patience, and to learn. Perhaps the most basic principle of spiritual life is that our problems are the best place to practice keeping our hearts open.
When life is too easy, there are fewer opportunities for genuine growth.
I wouldn't go so far as to recommend you seek out problems. I would however, suggest that if you spend less time running away from them and trying to rid yourself of them, and more time accepting problems as an inevitable, natural, even important part of life, you will soon discover that life can be more of a dance and less of a battle. The philosophy of acceptance is going with the flow'
I like the last option, is it a cop out?
Feel free to comment.x