Tuesday, June 18, 2013

From discomfort to transformation

Sometimes our best teachers are people and situations that give us fits and cause us discomfort. I've heard that said so often. And many times I resist the idea.

In fact, I've walked away from some situations and people because of the discomfort. Now I try instead to ask what I can learn from them. Often, there's something I need to learn from that person who at times drives me crazy! Or from that situation I don't always enjoy.

Mind you, I'm not saying you should stay in a relationship that's painful, hurtful or abusive. Absolutely not. There are some relationships from which you simply must walk away. They are harmful, and there will be nothing good to learn from them. Some situations are that way, too, and are better left behind.

Each day I read from a wonderful book just recommended earlier this year by someone I deeply respect. The book is The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo, who has survived cancer and other life difficulties and learned important life lessons from the experiences. In one of last week's daily readings, he talked about the gap that we sometimes feel between ourselves and another person and how, once we decide to cross that gap, the separations between us seem much smaller. And he said, "Often the thing feared, once crossed, turns out to be an unexpected bridge from which we can see who we were and who we are becoming."

I like that. And I have so often found it true. So those situations and people that cause us some discomfort just might help us "see who we were and who we are becoming." They may offer the possibility of transformation and turn out to be a source for increased wisdom. 

Is there someone or some thing in your life from which you can learn today?

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