Water is the softest thing yet, it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness – Lao Tzu
Do you have a difficult person in your life, someone you cannot understand and do not want to spend anytime with?
A student asked Suzuki Roshi why the Japanese make their teacups so thin and delicate that they break easily. “It’s not that they’re too delicate,” he answered, “but that you don’t know how to handle them. You must adjust yourself to the environment, and not vice versa.”
Sometimes we get caught placing people in the “Too hard basket” instead of adjusting to, or understanding why people behave like they do.
It can be very frustrating to work with or live with people who seem completely opposite to us and yet, when we approach the situation with care and understanding, taking time to listen to their pain and needs, we may find this helps shift our relationship.
Of course, this requires great effort and patience on our behalf and this can be difficult at times, but overtime, walking softly towards those who you dislike, somehow begins to bring forth a softness in them and help lessen their hardness and pain towards you.
Some techniques that have helped me:
Listen more/Re-act less
Find a common ground in which you can connect and talk about.
Accept them as they are and accept they may never change.
Don’t accept abuse of any kind, seek support and help when you need it and walk away or let go if you need to.
Love and nurture yourself first, before you help or nurture others.
We are given many teachers in life, some that inspire, and some that challenge us. When we accept this truth, we can begin to open our hearts to see our situation differently and this helps us all continue to grow on this ever-changing journey.
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” – Mahatma Gandhi