Our greatest teachers are often the ones that bring the hardest lessons to learn. Their lessons require us to lean into discomfort. When we walk through them, we emerge stronger, kinder, and more resilient. I guess there’s a reason we refer to them as growing pains.
Signs of a Toxic Person
You know those humans who make you feel like you are walking on eggshells? You know, the ones who make you feel like you’re going crazy, accusing you of the very things they do? The ones who are never wrong, who lack empathy, who attempt to control everything and everyone? Those humans make Life’s greatest teachers.
Why Toxic People Make the Greatest Teachers
Contrast is what propels us forward in this thing called Life. We would not appreciate sweet without bitter nor salty without the sour. Likewise, contrast provides the conduit for our growth. The greater the contrast, the more opportunity for our growth.
When you experience control, gaslighting, manipulation, or any other form of emotional/mental toxicity, you learn about the importance of setting boundaries, speaking up, and saying no.
Why You Want to Remove Your Pants
So there I was, on the phone, with a dear friend of mine who, like me, has experienced a lifetime of toxic people. He was helping me work through one particular toxic person in my Life who has used repeated (5+ at the writing of this piece)litigation and financial power to manipulate and control. This toxic person was now threatening another litigation. Up until this point, I had fought back. It wasn’t vengefulness on my part; it was self-defense. It was using my voice — something this particular Toxic person didn’t like.
What do I do?
You fought the good fight. You stood up for what you knew was right. But when there’s a Pit Bull chomping at your leg, you gotta take off your pants.
And there it was: my greatest lesson. Sometimes, when dealing with a toxic person, the lesson is to simply let go, to accept where you are and what the Pit Bull is doing.
The Pit Bull and The Pants
So, the Pit Bull (aka, the Lover of Litigation) has my “pants” (i.e., another day in court). Here’s the gem: I am not the pants. I am free to live my life however I choose. The Pit Bull may follow through on Litigation #6, but that doesn’t stop me from living in the gift of the present moment.
We can’t control the way someone else will behave in this Life. We find peace when we surrender our figurative pants to a Pit Bull. The Pit Bull wants the “meat” of us — they want a reaction. Emotion feeds the Pit Bull; to starve them is your ticket to inner peace and happiness.
Sometimes, we need to surrender our pants in order to unearth our Zen.
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