From "Thank You for Being Such a Pain, Spiritual Guidance for Dealing with Difficult People" by Mark I. Rosen:

But for the sake of further inquiry, let’s consider as a working assumption the possibility that truly difficult people don’t just randomly show up in our lives, let’s suppose they are sent

to us.

Difficult people, according to this viewpoint, are teachers who help us to develop in a fashion that can only take place when we are forced to face and surmount an unwelcome challenge. Difficult people impel us to rise to the occasion.

We are not on this earth just to have fun, although that is one of the bonuses of being human. We are here to develop our talents, refine our character, and contribute our utterly unique and divine essence toward the greater good. No one else can do what we are here to do.

The catch is that we can’t make our contribution to this cosmic scheme if we’re not ready. There are things we must learn; it is likely that we can’t learn at least some of them without a divine kick in the spiritual butt.

So, I ask you to give serious consideration to the possibility that the Universe delivers unto us the ideal foe, a person whose characteristics exactly correspond to the places within us that need learning and healing.

The suffering we endure may not make any sense to us at the time, but in retrospect, if we search within ourselves for meaning, we will eventually come to the realization that we have been transformed by the encounter in a necessary way.

It is not possible to prove this to you; I ask that you consider this way of viewing your relationships with an open mind and a receptive heart. As you learn more about this perspective...assess its value for yourself in your dealings with difficult people.

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