In class we sometimes talk about the ‘negative teachers’ in our lives and what we have learned from them. As part of our student creed we have a line that reads, “I show respect to all that help me progress”.
The logical question then follows, are we able to respect those bad teachers and situations that we are bound to encounter.
Personally I have had an abundance of negative experiences a few years back. I had a new director at the job I was working at come in and tear the group apart. As a result of this I spiraled into some pretty severe anxiety and depression.
In order to combat this I found peace in learning trampoline skills. However I pushed too hard and ended up tearing 5 ligaments in my ankle which led to months of being house bound with no weight-bearing on my ankle…no training, trampolines or much of anything.
Let me tell you that was a LOT to deal with. It also give me a lot of time to think. To question. To validate my life.
All of this led me to making some pretty major decisions about who I was and what I wanted to do with my life.
In the end I almost wanted to thank the aforementioned director for being such a bad manager.
I decided though that the best way to ‘respect him’ was to simply not have anything more to do with him. I walked into work, told them I was done and left.
I knew if I had to spend any further time around him I was bound to say something I would later regret.
I can however look back with appreciation for him inspiring me to move forward and jump headlong into fulfilling my life’s work.
What negative teachers/situations have you had in your life? Are you able to look back at them with appreciation for what you learned? Will you be better enabled to pre-appreciate the next ones in your life?
I know I hope to! Life’s too short and exciting to spend it frustrated and upset. You can’t always change the situation, but you can change your perception of it.