Hard Lessons

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”

-Pema Chodron

Life is hard. Sometimes we think we are in a righteous battle, well prepared and set on a sure course to victory. We know we’re strong, smart, and believe we have the angels on our side. 

But then we falter. We don’t succeed in the way we expected to. Maybe our opponent gained points by playing unfairly. Perhaps he even “won” the game at others’ expense.

We are stunned. We ask how injustice can persist and even succeed?  We feel crazy because we failed, because integrity doesn’t seem to matter, because sometimes people with unhealthy and unkind and victim-mentality motives actually win.

So then what? We have two choices. We get angry and bitter and cynical, blaming the “system” and all the idiots in it. Or we take ourselves out of the game entirely for the moment. We detach and ask, What’s the bigger picture here? What is the lesson I need to learn? 

Unfairness and injustice and people who make us crazy are here to teach us if we allow them. Ultimately, our happiness and wholeness are not determined by the consistent vanquishing and conquering of the crazymaking outside ourselves. 

They are determined by how clearly we see ourselves; how open our hearts are; and how fully we understand that although sometimes crazy in others reflects the imbalances in us, we are able to heal, embrace light and goodness, and in our clear-sighted wholeness, detach and elevate ourselves from the confusion and madness of the world.

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