The Upside Of Being Annoyed


Jessica LaVoie 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.









How To Keep Boundaries And Not Settle In Our Relationships


J Clynes Photography

There is nothing quite as electrifying or soul satisfying as falling in love and thinking we’ve found a partner to spend our lives with. But what happens when you start to see and feel that this man or woman is causing you more pain than joy and you are already so deeply invested?

I believe relationships are assignments. They bring up all our “stuff.” In other words, you and your significant other will both be triggered, old wounds will come up for the purpose of healing. You will both have to feel your feelings and release them in order to move forward and grow as a couple.

“Love brings up everything unlike itself for the purpose of healing.” ~A Course in Miracles

As a student of A Course in Miracles and a woman devoted to my spiritual growth, I was up for working through any difficult emotions or situations that came up. My partner was not. It wasn’t as easy as just cutting him lose immediately though. I had developed deep feelings for him, and we were in love.

I felt guilty for wanting to simply abandon him and the relationship. I truly wanted to grow with him. A friend gave my a piece of advice that really struck a cord with me. It resonated much more intimately than, “Girl, you deserve better,” and “He’s not good enough for you.”

My friend told me I was basing my decision to (at least temporarily) stay in the relationship off of my feelings and not my values. When I explained to her that I loved this man and wanted a future with him, but had some major concerns like the fact he wasn’t interested in a spiritual life at all and was unwilling to work through any emotional baggage or issues stemming from his divorce, both of which are extremely important to me.

It seemed obvious to my friend that my guy was simply not ready for a serious relationship despite telling me otherwise. His decision to lie to me on more than one occasion came up as character defects as well (things I had overlooked because I loved him). We both knew the right decision was to walk away from this relationship. So why was it so difficult and painful to end it?

I was evaluating if I should stay in the relationship based off my strong feelings for this man rather than what I value. When I wrote down what I value in a romantic partner, I realized this man did not embody many of those qualities, like supporting me emotionally, sharing my spiritual commitment to a higher power and being fully committed to me.

My friend reflected back to me what she saw. She asked me to pretend I had never met my boyfriend, and said I have this great guy for you, and I know you will find him very charming and attractive. Want me to hook you up with him?

“Sure,” I said.

My friend said, “Great! But he won’t share your values, he is spiritually passive, he will refuse to work through any of his emotional baggage and instead project his pain onto you, he will talk about his ex wife all the time, he won’t support you emotionally, he won’t celebrate your career accomplishments, well, actually he won’t respect that you work hard at all, and he will attack and criticize your feelings. But I think you will love him. So do you want to go out with him?”

Feeling repulsed, I said, “No!”

It became crystal clear I was leading with my feelings and not my values. My attachment to this man was getting in the way of what I truly desired in a life partner and was clouding my judgment. I recognized that my spiritual values would have to lead the way instead if I wanted a loving relationship that would last and be deeply fulfilling.

While at first I thought I was walking away from a great connection and love, I realized I was actually protecting and preserving love by requiring the character values that make it work. When I explained to my boyfriend that this is what I wanted and wasn’t interested in anything less, he agreed that he was not ready for this kind of relationship. I said I hope you become ready, I want that person to be you, but right now, I have to move on.

I had hopes that he would be inspired to go to counseling, get support and want to fully commit to a loving relationship with me. Turns out, he doesn’t want to work through any of his issues, and I have to respect his decision and close that door permanently. I truly wish him the best on his journey, and I’m thankful for the soul growth I experienced while dating him. I learned what I want, and more importantly, what I do not want in a committed romantic relationship.

I think it’s important that each of us look for a set of inner values in our relationships from the beginning, and if our love interest is not displaying those values, we consciously choose to not get involved and hold out for the person who embodies those cherished values. It’s even more imperative that we cultivate the characteristics that are valuable to us and keep ourselves in check as well. It’s our values that ultimately protect us.

When we lead with our values, not how we feel about someone, even when how we feel about someone is very strong, our values will lead us to the right person. Do not settle for less. Keep your boundaries. Guard your heart. Only give it to someone worth giving it to.



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