People as Assignments

The world is your classroom and other people are your assignments. […] Freedom from the past is available to you when you show up to your assignment in the present.”

Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear into Faith

Having walked alongside fear for more than half my life, I am quite a junkie for solutions. The difference is, age and experience have convinced me to listen to solutions through the check of my inner voice and only pay attention to what resonates with me. As I was out and about this morning I was listening to Gabrielle Bernstein read from her book about the way in which people arrive in our paths as assignments we are presented with, in order to grow out of a past that is based on fear.

She had my attention: I was already worked up because of an earlier interaction with a co-worker. I felt personally insulted by his procrastination and misunderstanding of my hard work and his assumption that whatever he was asking me to do would be just a simple thing to add to my plate. My reaction was so strong that I developed a migraine, I became seriously anxious and irritated and this was threatening to ruin my day. Luckily for me I had the day off and so was out by myself, listening to Gabrielle. The chapter she was reading on how to heal and how move from fear to love rang a huge bell and provided an explanation for the way I was feeling.

My assignment today, presented in the form of my co-worker, was to understand that people have different work/life styles, that they hold different priorities and that I had a problem working with people who don’t have the same work ethic / order mindset as I did. As I was thinking this and as I write this now, the headache is intensified and is being joined by a stomach ache – the body always keeps score. A sign I am spot on.

Having lived my entire childhood in an environment where being on time, keeping things in order, providing assignments on time, feeling less then if I didn’t, I got to the point where these became values, principles you do not cross and I hold everyone accountable to the highest standards, just as I do myself. My assignment today is to accept that this is a challenge I have put on myself, that people are the way they are, that compassion and acceptance are the ways to go and not sarcasm and criticism.

Given the turmoil that this has put me through I can tell that I have now just dusted the surface, I have only recognised the assignment. According to the same chapter that I was listening to, the next step is to accept the assignment – which I believe I am ready to do – , show up for it, call on compassion (self-compassion being key and the hardest one to activate), place my faith in the Universe (that will always send my way what I need and can handle), be authentic and welcome healing. No easy stretch but definitely existential.

The pathway to healing occurs when you love yourself so much that the darkness from the past can no longer coexist with your faith in the light of the present moment.

Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear into Faith

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