Who's On Your List?
Boss, coworker, spouse, roommate, mother, father, child—who are the people you really dislike and wish would simply go away? Be grateful to them: they’re your own special gurus, showing up right on time to keep you honest. It’s the troublemakers in your life who cause you to see that you’ve shut down, that you’ve armored yourself, that you’ve hidden your head in the sand. If you didn’t get angry at them, if you didn’t get fed up with them, you would never be able to cultivate patience. If you didn’t envy them, if you weren’t jealous of them, you would never think to stretch beyond your mean-spiritedness and try to rejoice in their good fortune. If you never met your match, you might think you were better than everybody else and arrogantly criticize their neurotic behavior rather than do something about your own.
Excerpt above from Pema Chodron's new book Living Beautifully (Shambhala Publications).