The boss who has been putting us down for five years, the colleague who has been “stealing” our credits, an uncle whose been making the same offensive remark each time we see each other or a nasty acquaintance who always have something really awful to say about anyone actually. Ourselves not excluded.
We all have at least one difficult person in our lives. That man or woman that whenever we see them we tense up, shrink, lose our voice or wish we could have disappeared off the face of earth. Perhaps seeing them makes us want to punch them, prove them wrong or make them shut up.
Not so straightforward
Sometimes, a loved one can become a difficult one. A parent that is never satisfied with us, always wants us to do better. A partner who betrayed us. A friend who didn’t show up for a meeting and didn’t bother to cancel or a teenage child whose been out of control and is giving us hell.
Can we be grateful for the difficult people in our lives without repressing our feelings of heart or anger? Can we intentionally recall the things we like about our demanding parents or distrustful friends? Can we intentionally look for the goodness in our nasty boss? Can we realize his pain? Can we be compassionate to someone who puts us down? Can we see that our teenage boy is probably going through hell just by being alive at the age of 14?
Or, can we appreciate the things we learn about ourselves when someone puts us down or when we have an argument with a dear one? Can we be grateful for the good that resulted from parting from someone who betrayed us? Can we appreciate the heart aches and arguments we freed ourselves from? Can we enjoy the time our distrustful friend enabled us by not showing up to our pre-planned meeting?
At times it’s not a difficult person, but rather a difficult situation in our lives. A sickness that doesn’t go away, death of a loved one, a divorce, redundancy and unemployment, failing to complete a project at work or falling out of love with our profession.
Could we be simply grateful for the good times spent with our departed beloved? For his or her good qualities and the amazing life lessons we shared? Could we do so without repressing our deep grief? without repressing our anger? Can we see the subtle ways a sickness allows us to slow down? enables us the opportunity to priorities what really matters in our lives? Can we rejoice in the countless blessings our divorcee brought into our lives and the lives of our children? Enjoy the excitement of new beginnings? The unknown? Can we find fulfillment in our self development at times of unemployment? Can we be grateful for the time we have for ourselves and our families? Can we see that failing is actually a lesson in humility?
Can we live with the contradictions? Can we allow the pain with the pleasure? the praise with the blame? the success and failure? anger and love? betrayal and freedom? can we accommodate contradicting emotions simultaneously?
Can we see the divine plan in anything that happens? Can we live with absolute faith that everything happens for a reason? Can we appreciate the goodness of everything that happens? And if not, can we simply Be with everything?
In this version kids from countries at wars and conflict sing their version to Imagine. I have high sentiments for this version as in 2005, working for Amnesty International, I produced an International Human Rights Seminar for teenagers and this version of Imagine was our “anthem”.
May we live as one.