“These are the people in your neighborhood”

Like it your not, the people in your life are there for good reason!

Yes, even the ones that drive you crazy or hurt you.

In fact, those annoying, frustrating, disappointing, hurtful, angry and irritating people are the key to our growth and are the stimulus for us to develop the qualities that need to be strengthen in our own character.

I believe that the people in our families, neighborhoods, churches and jobs are not there by accident.  

“When the student is read the teacher arrives”

Our greatest teachers are those who show us how our own thoughts are affecting our happiness and peace, not those who tell us we are perfect and victims of others.

Our “neighbors” in life reflect back to us ourselves.

They teach us best,  by not complying with our attempts to run their lives, but

by disappointing us when we wait for them to do more, less or differently.  Our best teachers show us that our happiness cannot be left to the actions of others.  

We can be happy and calm, no matter what others do, say or don’t do or say, it seems foreign and scary, but learning this is the key to feeling better within ourselves.

My oldest son became my greatest teacher and is the reason why I started to study how to manage my own mind.  I tried with all of my might to make him change and comply.   I couldn’t be happy, I thought, or it would be like condoning bad behavior or lessening my standards.

I wanted him to change so that I could be proud of him and so that I could have the child I imagined and deserved.

No amount of discipline, bribery, manipulation or threats worked.

He refused  to relent his independence and agency.

He hurt his own life, over and over again, to demonstrate his commitment to authenticity. 

After years of battling and after a personal spiritual moment,  I was ready to wave the white flag and let go of the control.

 Our relationship was shattered, my confidence diminished and my soul ached to just be able to hug my son.  (something that seemed impossible to even imagine)

I stepped out of the fight and got back into my own business. (Thank you Byron Katie!)

I had a long talk with my Heavenly Father and turned it over to His wisdom and patience.

Once out of combat mode, I have grown to love and respect my son for being genuine (even if a genuine turd) and for never wearing a mask in order to appease society, schools or his parents.

Now, when he does something for me or speaks openly, I know that I can trust his integrity, even though it’s not based on my standards or beliefs.

Who are the people on your neighborhood?

What are they there to teach you?

Can you love them, if for nothing else, for being just the right person to teach and refine you?

This task in not for the faint of heart and will require a higher standard than the world around us requires.

Having dipped my toes into these waters, I can tell you that the pain of embracing your own weaknesses is far less than the incessant suffering of always resisting them.  

So many of us, mom’s especially, end up controlling and correcting others in an accepted loophole in avoiding our own deep work.

Just as with good neighborhoods, good relationships have good and clear boundary lines. I weed my grass and water my flowers and I let you do the same.

 I mind my business, but I’ll bring cookies, watch your dog and laugh over the fence.

 It sounds easy, but of all our life’s purposes, mastering this skill is at the heart of happiness and calm.  I am at the beginning, but already, I am grateful each my son allows me to hug him and I am able to tell him “thank you” for forgiving me, his nosey neighbor.