“This teacher didn’t just congratulate and bow to the conventionally kind and wonderful people; he bowed to and congratulated everyone — even the most difficult. If we know how to benefit from their presence, difficult people might be the kindest spiritual friends of all.”

And not just difficult people… but difficult circumstances, relationships, injuries even… situations that challenge us at our core. They make us look deep within knowing that our outward action (or reaction) will define who we are in that moment.

Will we like the version of us that shows out? Will we notice if we don’t? Will we do better with the next difficult person/situation that comes along?

I had an experience last week. I showed up for myself instead of showing up for the people around me. Afterwards, reflecting on how I handled the situation I decided I didn’t really like the version of me that showed up in that moment. That I have more to offer when I can give and not be on the take.

I was told, “That’s your practice at work.” Mindfulness is recognizing that you show up for yourself and not the whole. The work is being mindful in the next situation and being more generous than selfish.