That person who is grumpy, aggressive or negative may be suffering constant, chronic pain. Perhaps they are still coming to terms with a violent, traumatic past. Maybe they’re wondering where their next meal is coming from or are worried about a business going under or a loved one who is ill.
Think about that person you know who is so difficult and who you struggle to deal with. What could be going on for them that you have no idea about?
Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve and shares their problems. Some people are not like that. Sometimes there is a huge sense of shame attached to the problem which prevents them discussing the underlying issues in their lives. Sometimes they don’t believe anyone is interested in listening to their worries and concerns. And sometimes it’s just no one else’s business.
There are so many reasons that people are less than amenable and do not settle comfortably into society. As we do not like to be judged, it is not our place to judge anyone, regardless of what they have done or how they appear to be.
Next time you come across someone who really pushes all your buttons and seems to be intolerable, remember what you have just read and look at them through eyes of compassion rather than eyes of anger, resentment or judgement. When you do this, you will find the irritation and aggravation will disappear and you will see beyond those things and look into the soul of a fellow human being who is struggling, just as you and everyone else are.
This principle should also be applied to yourself. Often we are harder on ourselves than on anyone else, judging ourselves harshly and holding ourselves up to impossible standards, beating ourselves up when we fail to reach those standards.
My challenge to you today is to look at yourself and every other person on the planet, through the eyes of understanding and compassion, recognizing the battle that rages in the hearts and souls of all of us and truly appreciating each and every human being with whom you interact, including yourself.