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The difficult person

Everyone knows the difficult person. Here is someone who is a perfectly fine person from a distance. They have a good job and they do it well. They have colleagues at work who respect the body of work that has been established over a career. They laugh and have fun. They do interesting things and support family and community.

In person something is not at ease. Something is not forthcoming. Perhaps the person is oversensitive or says mildly oppositional things that betray a hidden quality that doesn’t allow relaxed give and take in relationship. Somewhere there is judgment that is not mentioned. It takes work to be around this person somehow but a love and compassion are incipient. We want communion but something holds back and nothing changes. There is a constant tension when we visit this person.

The cause of this condition is always in the mental realm between us. The admonition to “take the log from one’s own eye” before trying to help another applies here. I am always the cause of my experience and my own attitudes, values and beliefs need to be examined before I can call a person difficult. They may or may not be aware of what I sense but I can’t assume anything that doesn’t show itself plainly.

I have to be clear in my own mind who I am in any relationship. Misjudgments and faux pas need to be mentioned and “made right” as soon as possible. Sometimes a process needs to occur to deepen a trust that relationship depends on.

It only takes one person to be free in a way that heals all relationships. There is a joy that grows and allows full easy joy in the presence of anyone. This presence of peace and joy can be found within by deep awareness and it will inspire the choices that are alive with courage.