A friend had a birthday yesterday. I really like this woman. A wonderful heart, works like a horse, and has a great sense of humor. I wrote on her Facebook page that she has been one of my greatest teachers, and I thanked her for being a part of my life for the last eight years.
She can't stand me. She works for my wife at the Home Sweet Home Cafe. She told her she'd quit if I ever set foot into her restaurant again.
This is a woman that I need in my life, and I hope I get a chance circulate in her orbit sometime soon. She keeps me honest about the person she sees me as being, and through her eyes she thinks I'm an angry, self centered jerk. And, sometimes, she's correct.
In looking back at the year, find those moments that truly set you off, and see what you learned from the conflicts and the difficulties that you endured. These moments, and the people that were on the receiving end of your upset, are truly your greatest teachers.
Forgive them for not seeing you in the light you'd like to be seen, and appreciate them for the perspective they gave you in shining just a little light on something that otherwise may have been hidden. This gives you an opportunity for a little more self reflection.
We would rather have gentle reminders of our challenges. But sometimes a full fledged direct hit to our ego can shake us out of our spiritual complacency. It's not a pleasant feeling. We all want to be liked. And we strive for days that sustain a peaceful and conflict free existence.
I don't think we should invite others to be critical of us. But when it happens, and when the hurt wears off, it is up to us to take a good look at what the content of the message held, and examine the validity that may exist in the message. We will be better for those that think less of us if we can look at life, even for a moment, from their point of view.
Here's to greater empathy, self understanding, openness, and ease with one another this year.