We all have the powerful ability in each moment to embrace another or push them away, to listen to our ego or to listen to the inner voice of love.
How we choose to perceive a situation or a person's behavior is totally up to us.
You might be thinking, "Sure, that sounds good and everything, but all the people I have to deal with on a daily basis are super annoying!"
That may be your experience, but it doesn't have to be.
Every relationship and interaction is there to teach us something. When you can look at your daily annoyances or frustrations with that in mind it's much easier to let things go and keep your cool.
Take something common like going to the grocery store.
You can either dread it, bitch about how crowded the store is, meet anyone who crosses your path with a grimace, tap your foot and sigh loudly when the person in front of you is taking too long, look at the mother in aisle 3 with a screaming kid in her cart with contempt, snap at the cashier because they accidentally scanned something twice, and storm out of the store pissed.
OR, you can choose to see things differently.
You can walk into the store and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude at the plethora of fresh food that is so easily accessible to you. If it is crowded, you can take the chance to remember that we are all one, we are all in this together, and everyone is just trying their best to get what they need for themselves or their family and get out of there so they can get on with their day too.
You can use that slow moving customer as an opportunity to practice patience and grace.
You can give that mom with the screaming child a kind look that is not full of judgment and disdain, but instead lets her know without a word that you can’t even imagine how tough it must be on her to be in a crowded grocery store with a kid who is losing their shit. My guess is that no mom is super psyched when that happens.
And finally, when you get to the checkout counter you can remember that the person helping you has probably been on their feet for hours dealing with a cast of characters, the majority of whom have likely not been the most friendly people in the world, and is just doing their best to get you through the line quickly.
These are both the same experience—a trip to the grocery store, but the thing that changed between both scenarios was the way you chose to perceive the situation.
Everyone else’s behavior stayed the same, but you changed how you saw it and therefore your experience of that experience changed.
It really can be as easy as that.
We don’t need to change other people (and p.s., we can't!), we just need to look inward and change how we perceive their behavior, and often, our expectations too. And it's helpful to remember that another person's behavior might be triggering something in you that you've been avoiding taking a look at or don't want to face.
Their "annoying" behavior may just be crossing your path as a reminder and a lesson so you can experience what it's like to be on the receiving end of it.
Really examine what pisses you off the most in other people and you'll likely find it's something you actually don't like in yourself.
They're just reflecting it back to you so you can choose again, so you can choose a new perception, learn the lesson, and show up in the world as the person you know you really are inside.
As Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Truer words have never been spoken.
And the tremendous thing is that we can all make that choice every moment of every day.
This may seem too simple to be as impactful as it can be, but that is the beauty of it.