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The Upside Of Being Annoyed

In every moment, we get to choose who we want to be, and the best part is, we can always change our minds.

Justin Clynes Photography

Have you ever received an annoying phone call, text, email, letter or been face-to-face with someone whose behavior drove you nuts? Of course you have, you’re human!

I was recently involved in an ick-worthy text message exchange that left me feeling irritated, attacked and on the defense. I went from peaceful to pissed in minutes. Focusing on the other’s person’s guilt and thinking, “How dare she say that to me?!” only made me feel worse. Trying to figure out why I was so irritated, and a friend telling me to just “let it go” wasn’t helping my peace of mind either.

I decided to sit in meditation and ask for guidance. The message I received was, “You are not enlightened enough to resist feeling angry, upset or insulted at all times, so the next time you receive an annoying text, do not say anything until you have calmed down. You do not have to respond right away.”

I was also guided to practice forgiveness. I decided to forgive the person who annoyed me, and choose to stop judging her behavior, reminding myself she, too, is an innocent child of God. I then asked for self-forgiveness, and to stop feeling guilty and judging myself for not responding with more kindness.

Then I prayed: “Dear God, I am willing to see things differently. I am willing to see this person and myself in a more loving, non-judgmental way. Please take from me any unkind, unloving, judgmental attack thoughts. I want to feel at peace. Please guide me to peace.”

I have to say this worked! Instead of feeling the need to obsess and ruminate about who said what, feel offended and slip into a low vibe state, which doesn’t attract anything positive into our lives, I felt lighter and was even able to laugh at myself for getting so fired up.

I’ve realized that whenever we hold onto feelings like anger, judgement or resentment, we block blessings from flowing to us. So even if you’re not fully ready to surrender your annoyance, try to remember you’re closing yourself off to receiving miracles from the Universe, and commit to shifting your perspective. A quick way to do this is to think of someone experiencing a true setback like a cancer diagnosis, loss of a loved one or other tragedy.

The willingness to see things differently is one of my favorite takeaways from A Course in Miracles, a metaphysical text and self-study spiritual thought system based on love rather than fear. I saw this seemingly silly incident as an opportunity to grow and create a new way of thinking and being in the world.

Instead of wallowing in our wounds and triggers, why don’t we think about the person we wish to be instead?

It is easy to be loving and kind when everyone around us says what we want to hear and does what we want them to do. The challenge is to be loving, kind, strong, non-judgmental and non-reactive when people don’t say what we want to hear and don’t do what we want them to do. What a perfect opportunity to decide who we want to be, and not let outside sources dictate how we feel!

Being annoyed is a great way to practice being the men and women we are capable of being. What a gift!

It doesn’t matter who or what annoys us, and it is inevitable we will all be irritated from time to time. What matters is who we choose to be in those frustrating moments. Being annoyed is the perfect opportunity to practice non-reactivity and stillness.

When we slow down and are still, it is easier to receive divine guidance. We realize the entire universe is set up for our good. So keep your eyes and your heart open. The person, money, opportunity, experience you desire is on its way or probably standing right next to you. Let your annoyance open you up to new possibilities.

A beautiful quote from the Course is, “In my defenselessness my safety lies.”

In every moment, we get to choose who we want to be, and the best part is, we can always change our minds.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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