“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~ Pema Chodron
I was with a group of caring yoga teachers yesterday, and we shared experiences of who showed up in our classes. There was one student who always gave an unsolicited evaluation of how the class went and what the teacher could do differently. An other student would send long emails about a substitute teacher, pointing out where she was not as good as the original one. An other student made comments in class about how uncomfortable she was.
Then there were the students who were grateful for the teacher’s guidance and came back class after class.
I awoke this morning with this thought. People show up for different reasons, yet they are all our teachers.
Should we dismiss the challenging ones as external disturbances, taking us off balance? Or perhaps, as people who have things going on that they need to address?
There’s an opportunity for deeper understanding here.
We attract the people who reflect our selves.
The wonderful thankful students, are reflecting the parts of ourselves that we appreciate and accept.
The people who disturb us, are reflecting the parts of ourselves that we have not fully accepted or integrated within ourselves. The parts of ourselves that we haven’t learn to love.
If we look as every person as a reflection of our selves and as our teachers, it becomes an opportunity to learn and grow.
Every person is bringing a gift for us to receive and to learn from.
If the same “gifts” keep showing up in your life, then there is something that is longing for your attention.
Take a moment to pause and breathe deeply
Allow the breath to become fuller
Imagine breathing into your heart
Allow this area to soften
Let your heart open and be ready to receive
To the teacher whose student wants to be in control of the class … What is the heartfelt lesson for you?
To the teacher with a student who criticizes and complains about not having things their own way… What could be the heartfelt lesson for you?
To all of us who have a spouse… colleague… child… neighbor… relative… showing up as “gifts” to learn from … What are the heartfelt lessons for us all?
Remember, its often what we don’t like, that we grow from the most. The practice is to keep our minds and our hearts open.