George said to me, “Life is so frustrating.”
“Really?” I asked.
I asked him for some examples, and he gave me a list of the usual: money, lack of warmth from his wife, ungrateful and argumentative children, a demanding boss, and more.
“All those things you just described,” I said, “would qualify as potential inconveniences, obstacles, and even difficulties. But YOU choose whether any of these things—like your wife, for example—are frustrating or whether they’re simply lessons to learn, or inconveniences. It’s ALL controlled by your perspective.
“Explain,” he said.
“Your wife often doesn’t do things in the way you would do them, right?”
“That’s an inevitable product of the two of you simply not being the same person. So you can regard these differences as frustrating—because you don’t get to control her like your slave—or you can regard them as opportunities to accept her differences and even value her for what she brings to your relationship.”
“I think I see what you’re saying. But what about money? Not having enough is surely frustrating. Surely that can’t be a choice.”
“We always have a choice. Is your income roughly the same as that of your coworkers with equal experience?”
“So you could immediately change your perspective and be grateful that they pay you for what you do, and let go of an unreasonable desire that they pay you more than your skills are worth. OR you could look for opportunities to make money outside of work. OR get another job. OR you could talk with your wife about economizing and living on less. There are many things you could do about an apparent insufficiency of money, but they are just choices, not frustrations.”
It’s NOT people or circumstances that are annoying. What becomes frustrating is our lack of love and our resistance against people and circumstances.
We’re not here in this life to experience ease and convenience. We’re here to learn to be happy. We’re here to feel loved, to love others, and to be responsible. We’re here to learn to be fearless. It is often the very difficult experiences we want to change that give us the invaluable opportunities we need to learn the qualities we want most.
Replace your fear & frustration with peace and happiness.
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