“My engagement is off, and I am really bummed,” Wendy told me. “He turned out to be a real turkey. When we first got together, he promised me everything.
Then I found out that he was carrying lit baggage from his past; his ex-wife is a cocaine addict who owes a hundred thousand on credit cards. I can’t believe I wasted six months with that jerk.”
While I understood Wendy’s disappointment, I saw that she was hurting herself by assuming a victim position. A little while later, I asked her, what kind of training you do?”
“I work for the army, training soldiers to protect themselves against biochemical warfare. I take them to the room where noxious chemicals have been realized, and I take away their gas masks.
My job is to see how they react under pressure. Some of them follow the emergency procedure they have been taught, and others freak out. Some become angry at me, call me horrible names, and try to grasp their mask back. They don’t realize I am trying to help them by training them.”
Then a thought occurred to me: “What if your fiancé has offered you the same service you provide your soldiers?” I asked Wendy.
“What do you mean?” “Your fiancé showed you where you feel small and unprotected. When you got angry and blasted him for your discomfort, you are like soldiers blaming you. You might consider this experience a training for you to find strength and wholeness within you, in presence of a noxious environment.”
De-briefing of this story
Everyone we meet serves us. Some help us by bringing us peace and joy; others help us by challenging us to find clarity within ourselves.
Let us honor both our friends and foes as teachers who lead us to greater power and truth.
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