We Often Encounter Challenging People In Our Day-to-Day Lives
I often feel an innate need to be a light to others: to inspire them, to help them when they’re down. But I have my moments when I feel like it’s me against the world. I know there are so many lightworkers out there, but when we experience events in our daily lives, sometimes it can feel like we’re alone. So alone. We often encounter people who annoy us, frustrate us, or challenge our values. It can be a tough road, especially if we’re empathic.
I recently came across an article by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits: “A Practice For When You Find Yourself Annoyed By Other People.” It was interesting and well-timed. I felt a little bit of synchronicity. I had been walking my dog the other day (still getting those steps!) and wished aloud for a mentor to guide me in the way I was feeling at that moment.
People Are Like Rivers…
After I read that article, I kept thinking about the image of the river that Babauta alluded to in his writing. It left my mind filled with metaphors and similes that seemed to grow and feed off each other that ultimately led to the poem below.
The first three stanzas set the stage for a variety of circumstances in which we can feel annoyed or troubled by others. I thought of examples over the course of my life and my reactions to them. I am sure many of us can relate.
The poem “evolves” from there: I sort of weave a story of how I discover what’s happening in other people, and how to “fix” it. Indeed, we cannot fix others unless they fix themselves: the real fixing comes from within and that’s where I end the poem.
So much non-fiction writing out there exists about dealing with life’s challenges (take Babauta’s article, for example). The stories, art, and poetry on this site are my answer to those same questions, hopefully in a different and satisfying way.
I listened to calming, ambient music as I worked on this. I want to share one of those musical soundtracks with you. I invite you to play it as you read the poem. It can create a powerful mood.
I hope you enjoy. I would love to know if the poem and song resonate with you. Please let me know in the comments.A Poem For When Other People Annoy You Click To Tweet
I sat across from you and you smacked your lips.
I smiled at you and you just looked miffed.
I sent you an note and all I saw was a frown.
I talked about my ideas and you shot them down.
I worked so hard so you would be proud.
I thought I might have loved you but it was disallowed.
I tried to please you, but you would not be obliged;
It wreaked havoc on me when our worlds collided.
I felt your anger and your contempt,
Your voice thundered at my misstep.
I wanted to believe all your lies,
But the sad stories dwelled in your eyes.
How many times I wanted to change you–
Not who you are, but the things you do.
It was your thoughts, words and actions
That caused me angst and emotional reaction.
I set out to rid the world of sadness,
I only wanted love, and light – no malice.
So every day I resolved to smile,
To spread benevolence for a little while.
It seemed the trolls upped their game,
To squash me down, with intent to defame.
I cried and was wounded but had to resolve
To keep my vibration high and to evolve.
I gave you so much positive energy,
But you absorbed it; I was only left with entropy.
I then understood that I could give no more
Than what was necessary – only what was called for.
I needed to preserve my feelings, my heart–
It’s for compassion – and for all that imparts.
I realized suddenly that you were suffering:
It was your own wounds that you were covering.
Now, I think of you like a river–
In one direction its waters shimmer.
To think it needed to change would not work:
The glimmers, ripples, and eddies are just your quirks.
I cause myself angst when I want to change
The essence of something not meant to be rearranged.
I found peace in accepting you as you are–
Imperfect and flawed, maybe a little bizarre.
This does not mean unconditional acceptance,
I just need to assert my independence,
To spread love as I can but if I am stopped,
I’ll move on to where I see the dam of love unblocked.
I’ll take refuge there and gather my power,
I’ll drink liquid love so that I’m empowered
To face the darkness whenever I need,
To be a light in a world that needs love, guaranteed.