As ususual, I find myself working with difficult people again at work. Those of you who might be reading this and are those difficult people, my apologies. This is not about your being difficult but about my continued attempts at cultivating compassion. Since the act of compassion stems from Maitri (loving kindness towards oneself) one can assume that the key to love and understanding towards our fellows really does start with a deeper love towards ourselves. Not self-love, the love of the ego, but kindness and forgiveness and gentleness towards ourselves. This is not so easy however.
When we deal with human beings in work situations, or any relationship situation most likely, we are forced to come to terms with every aspect of our own insecurities. Particularly if we are in a chaotic, negatively addicted drama like work. Unconciously, or not, we can activate latent feelings that we didn't even know we had. Certain people automatically remind us of others we don't like. Others may not like us for the same reason. If you happen to be a people pleaser like myself this can be very challenging. Peoples behavior, most of the time, simply has absolutely nothing to do with us at all. We may be the recipient of other's acting out behavior, but we need to remember that we ourselves may not be the catalyst whatsoever. But it still brings up our shit.
So today I started a brief new assignment for a few off-track weeks. I am dealing with a difficult personality. One that pushes my buttons and brings up my crud. I find myself getting my hackles up right quick. I practice restraint of pen and tongue (pen-ta-tonic: that's writing and then picking up a drink). I notice my contraction affects them. Then there is the insanity of the room itself and the energy involved in all of it's glory. I get mad and develop judgements. Most of them harsh.
Here's what I do:
I see that individual alone in a hospital room riddled with cancer, I see them alone in their apartment worrying about their children, I see them having to put an animal to sleep, I see them being jilted, I see them as a child crying for their lost parent, I see them crying out to God to help them get through another day of life, to give them hope, to bring meaning to their lives. I see them. I see myself.
I tend not to strike out so quickly when I do.