Thursday, December 10, 2015

Gloria Roubal's Daily Hand Generated Type Phrase #209

I believe that you can learn something from everything. You can learn something from each person you meet or encounter. You can learn from every single one of your relationships in life. You can learn really important things from people, animals, plants, places, things, and experiences—things that enrich your life and enlighten your mind in so many ways.

I was a massage therapist for ten years, and I saw hundreds and hundreds of clients over that decade. Many of them were regulars, and it's such an intimate type of encounter—physically, emotionally, spiritually, energetically—that I became very close to many of these clients. I loved the work I did and loved many of the people I came to know. However, the ones that taught me the most were people who were difficult (and there were very, very few of them). One person comes to mind as I think back. She was outwardly unpleasant, demanding, negative, pessimistic, impossible to please, whiny, impatient, irritating and irritable, blaming...the list goes on. Other therapists couldn't see how I could deal with her; even in the lobby while she was rescheduling at the counter, it was clear to everyone around that she was extremely unpleasant (that's putting it mildly). She seemed miserable and seemed to take it out on everyone she met. It was really quite sad...

I chose to have the attitude that she continued to come to the office to see me because she liked me, because I helped her, and because she had things to teach me. I was always calm and kind to her, and I developed a lot of compassion for her. It became clear to me that she had developed these habits out of a lack of confidence and a great deal of self loathing. Clients often confide in massage therapists, telling them things they wouldn't tell anyone else, and she told me a great deal about herself, her family, her relationships, her background. From this client, I learned a great deal about true compassion and patience, and even though she continued to be "difficult" when I saw her (but less so as time went by... either that or it just seemed that way to me), I was grateful to her and felt that we helped each other greatly. Was I always glad to see her? No. It was hard work! I mean, I had to really focus on the positive. There were times when our conversations were actually pleasant, though, and it became easier for me to deal with seeing her name on my schedule. What I really learned was that she was really, really stuck in negativity, and I could feel her pain. I did what I could to help her with her physical issues and also did what I could to bring out the positive in her as much as possible. She was one of my most important gurus, and I really hope she is doing well and is healthy and happy.

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