Our Inner Conflicts; Part 1

It’s not a coincidence that we are confronted with annoying people and situations day-in and day-out. That’s life, and it follows us everywhere, like someone stepping on your heels. When we allow these outside factors to keep us from enjoying our lives, they quickly manifest themselves as our inner conflicts.

Make no doubt about it, those inner conflicts represent lessons we need to learn. When we learn them we become more confident and at peace in our surroundings. Our lives become easier when we view our challenges not as burdens that bring us down, but as opportunities to evolve. We can only stay down by choosing to respond in a way that doesn’t accept the problem as a task that will make us better. In my view, that’s a key to being successful in all levels of life.

Among my biggest challenges has been learning patience and to control my anger. Since these are things I still need to learn, I often find myself in traffic jams, red lights and waiting at the back of long lines. This last one seems to be especially true. No matter what line I carefully choose for optimal speed, factoring in the number of standees, the number of their items and whether or not they look like they have someplace else to be, something always comes up in the way of a price check, changing the cash drawer, a dysfunctional computer (or person), or a declined credit card.

What really ticks me off are the ones that only have two items (usually something like a roll of toilet paper and tooth paste) and then write out a check for two dollars and thirty seven cents. (I guess we should realize that it’s just not safe to carry all of that cash around with you!) This is a maddening situation for me, and until I can finally accept that I can’t move lines any faster with my mind, it will continue that way.

I can’t tell you how many times I had to be somewhere at an appointed time and broke a shoelace, or noticed a stain on my shirt, or couldn’t find my car keys, and of course, noticed the gas gauge was pointing to empty. Boy, sometimes life seems like it’s out to get me!

If I allow even one these annoying moments to try my patience, it could set me off for the rest of the day. In the end, all it takes is one annoyance to set yourself up for another one, and then another, and so on. This domino effect can be devastating, but if I can recognize it for what it is and say to myself, “This is a test, and I will pass it and learn form this.” I can then shift my perspective, calm down and feel like I’ve learned something. By learning the lesson, I am setting up for a happier, more productive day.

In Part 2 you will learn how humor can be a real difference maker and help you learn the lesson that life is trying to teach you.

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