4824_1110118126530_4144722_nEverything Shapes Us.

How can it not? We are a sum total of our experiences in this lifetime. It starts when we are children and we are gradually molded as we grow into adults. Our joys, our hurts, our excitement, even some of our interests can be traced to something at some point on our path.

We are the proverbial mound of clay that is shaped and molded and formed into what stands before your mirror today.

This shaping is not without its pinching, though. We do not suddenly arrive at the doorstep of our wise selves without some challenges and frustrations along the way. I would even be so bold as to suggest that the more difficult situations that we have experienced are what cast the defining elements to our spirit.

Lucky for us (read with dripping sarcasm), these definable moments usually involve other people. These “other people” are usually working on their own stuff and have decided on some level, either conscious or unconscious to take us along for the ride. Perhaps it is a family misunderstanding, office gossip, angry neighbors, a lover or boyfriend who chooses to disconnect, a friend who betrays you, an angry uptight human in traffic or just some perceived miserable person in line at Starbucks.

Is hell really other people? Or is hell the way we respond to other people?

It’s a two-way street, baby.

Someone is acting like an ass (well, at least in our opinion) and we become outraged. Perhaps we become indignant, tearful, or down-right head banging against the wall furious. Maybe it screws up our whole day. Maybe we feel it screws up our life.

But does it? Does it really?

This is where it is imperative to stop. I mean really s-t-o-p and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.

How much power are we giving this person or the situation? How much of ourselves are we giving away to something that is, in of itself, temporary? In some, crazy transcendental, whoo-whoo way, should we not be blessing this situation and use it as a moment to practice compassion, awareness or simply practice being a spirit in a human body?

Believe me when I say this, if someone had told me this yesterday, I probably would have thrown something at them.  But out of the fire, we can rise, reborn. We can have a complete meltdown like the Phoenix and rise up, up and away from the ashes of our own “stuff.”  The powerful fire of fear and anger has the capability to burn off what we do not need.

If we have the wisdom to let it go.

It does not serve us to “hold on” to the things that come to shape us. They are tools. They are part of the grand design. They chip away at our marble surface and they cut away at the fleshy bits to get to what matters – spirit- that amazing energy that percolates within our cores. That amazing ju-ju that can truly guide us if we can let go of the emotions that drown out its gentle voice most of our waking lives.

It’s okay to get pissed. It’s perfectly fine to want people or situations to be different then what they are at any given moment. It’s cathartic to vent our inner dialogue and shout (or howl) at the moon. It’s really not okay or healthy or purposeful to cling to those negative emotions.  As a matter of fact, it can be downright destructive if we spend too much time and energy trying to hold on to them once they arrive in our lives.

As I have suggested many times before, we do have a choice. We have a choice to release it.

Let it go.

Fly, Robin, Fly.

An even crazier thought is to bless it. Be grateful for it.

“Thank you Universe for sending this crazy, gossipy, cheating, miserable, negative person into my life. Thank you Universe for reminding me that I am powerful and valuable and I am filled with Light and I can release this at anytime. Thank you Universe for all this bullshit because it shapes who I am.”

Well, you get the idea.

But as crazy as that may sound when you are in the heat of the moment, try it. I’m not kidding.

Seriously, s-t-o-p, b-r-e-a-t-h-e and thank the Universe for that jackass in traffic. Then send them a little blessing.

It’s amazing how something as simple as that can immediately change the energy of a frustrating situation. In that perfect moment, if we listen, we can be reminded of our true nature.

Michelangelo is credited with saying, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Maybe that is what is happening to us when we encounter mean people. Perhaps the Divine is trying to set the angel within us free.

And it’s our choice to release her.

What will you choose?