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Hello, Dear Readers.

I’m lucky enough to work with some remarkably well-centered people. They’re very inspiring. I’ve often promised (or threatened) to write the Tao of Bert about one co-worker’s ability to not sweat the small stuff and always, always maintain his inner peace.

As luck would have it, I also work with a yoga guru–a practicing Buddhist who is full of wisdom and experience. Recently, she said something that really resonated with me:

“The people who are obstacles in our way are our greatest teachers.”

She said that she sends her greatest adversaries prayers for peace and success everyday, which may be going a bit far, but I like the overall sentiment of her words. One thing I’ve learned with striking clarity this year is that the overall impression people give may not be who they are at all: that unfriendly person who seems not to like you is just shy; that demanding witch with a “b” is actually insecure about her own abilities.

Do you agree or disagree with my co-worker’s sentiment? What has an adversary taught you? Is there someone who is giving you trouble right now who might be (consciously or not) trying to teach you something?

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  1. Mystic_Mom

    Great post Holli! We see the world as we are and our experiences can cause us to see other people and their intentions with a skew that isn’t always true or even fair.

    There are those who can make us stronger, I agree completely, I hold to the Irish school of belief on this and this is the old prayer that I try to recall when someone is being a stone blocking the path.

    “May those who love us, love us
    And those who don’t love us,
    May God turn their hearts
    And if he can’t turn their hearts,
    May he turn their ankles
    So we will know them by their limping!”

  2. Vanessa

    I agree with your co-worker. I wouldn’t say that I had an experience with an “enemy” but let’s just say there was tension in the air. At first it was very difficult to handle, but then when you look into your past and yourself. I had to ask myself why I was having such a strong reaction to this person/situation. Without going into detail, I found that out that my past experiences influences shape me and how I view the world. I believe that experiencing adversity forces us to learn about ourselves.

  3. Niki*

    My manager has definitely taught me how NOT to manage and treat people. For that I’m grateful.

  4. Laura Best

    You know, if someone is giving me grief I do say prayers for them even when it is difficult to do. In my opinion those are the people who need our prayers the most. A prayer for peace in our lives is something that can benefit us all.

  5. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comments, everyone. It seems my co-worker’s wisdom has plenty of merit! It takes a big-hearted person to see the big picture when someone is giving them grief.

  6. Elspeth Cross

    I think this is true sometimes and to a point. But as an overall philosophy I have to disagree. Sometimes they don’t teach us anything we don’t already know. Sometimes all they teach us is more hate. We aren’t obliged to learn all lessons that we are faced with.

  7. Story Teller

    Hi Elspeth–it’s great to get another opinion. I’ve often felt I’ve been forced to learn the same lessons over and over again, and it definitely isn’t fun.


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