Have you ever known people who irritate you to the edge of your endurance? I know you have; we all have. It’s part of the human condition. Do you know that they can be your greatest teachers, your greatest motivators? I have such a person in my life right now. She constantly asks my advice but every idea I have; she rejects. Every suggestion I make; she dismisses. I leave my encounters with her feeling exhausted and drained of energy.

 Do you work with someone like this? Have a family member like this? You ruminate about this person just vanishing into the cosmos somewhere? But before you eliminate them from your universe; really think about why they are in your life. And no, the answer is not to drive you crazy. The answer, if you allow it, is to teach you something. I guarantee it’s something you need to learn.

Are they too much like you? Maybe they have traits that you don’t want to see in yourself. My “person” is a know-it-all. She knows exactly what I should be doing and should not be doing. And if I don’t follow her guidance; there’s something wrong with me. Can you see the big old whopping ego getting in her way?

But in many ways; she is me; I am her. I once looked up my birthday in a book dedicated to a paragraph on every day of the year. My birthday was titled “the day of the unsolicited opinion.” I was offended at the time. Now, I laugh at its clarity. My ego has been the culprit in so many of my bad choices and bad relationships. I’ve only recently come to see it as the bully that it can be, only recently become aware of the need to manage it. I used to think if I could just pull the plug on my ego; all would be well. But the ego is part of the human condition. 

Back to my nemesis, she in all her glory is only mirroring me. She’s parroting the me that I don’t want to see. But the best part is that she is reminding me that I need to pay attention. I need to monitor myself and no one else. My ego requires supervision.

What’s my point: my message? When you have a breakdown, instead of whining and crying and blaming and moping; look for the silver lining. There’s always one there. Sometimes, you have to really stretch to see the silver but isn’t that more productive than the misery energy that you pour into “why is this happening to me?” The most important thing to remember is this – honor your inner knowing; not someone else’s. The real bonus is once you learn the lesson that the irritating person is there to teach. You can kiss them goodbye with peace and love. They are no longer necessary. So, who’s your silver lining this week?