Unlikely Teachers in our Lives

August 13, 2021


Have you ever noticed that certain traits or behaviors in others cause a negative reaction in you? In most of those cases, we’d probably admit that our emotional response was disproportionate to the infraction.

When we take the time to explore this area of our lives, it can lead to greater personal growth.

Learning From What Upsets Us

I think most people that know me would say that I’m a pretty congenial type of guy. I continue to work on myself and that helps me to be understanding of others. But there are circumstances where I get upset very easily. The common occurrence of getting cut off in traffic or receiving poor customer service has a greater effect than it should. I perceive the event as significant disrespect and an outright injustice. I personalize it to my core.

There were parts of my upbringing I felt a tremendous lack of respect and an absence of validation. So when I experience an inconsiderate action, it takes me right back to that young place in me. I experience the injustice with the full force of emotions that surrounds that childhood wound.

Processing this allows me to understand and start healing this past area of my life. This in turn allows me to remain truer to the man I desire to be.

Understanding the Dynamic Conversely

Professionally, I have chosen to performing a project for less money than another equivalent opportunity.  I chose the project based on feeling valued and respected. The appreciation I felt, gave me a far greater sense of satisfaction than what the difference in compensation represented.

If we view sources of our reactions as teachers, we can actually experience a growth that improves our ability to move forward with a greater sense of freedom, peace and happiness. In the end, I think you have to admit that it’s a pretty fair trade.

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