Frustrated with you? I'm frustrated with myself.

 Anxious woman with left hand on face

When I’m frustrated with someone, at first I feel justified in feeling that way.

I feel that the person annoying me is waging a personal war on my territory.

I’m minding my own business, and the other person slides in as a used-car salesman to encroach upon my time.

I think, If only you knew what I have going on in my life.

I think, Why is this happening to me?

The frustration can stem from pretty much anything.

Being distracted from my work.

Being locked in a conversation I wish to escape.

Being told what to do when I’m confident I know what’s best for my life.

It frustrates me.

Justifiably so, I think.

But then I remember something. It’s a thought, a voice reaching out from a better place.

It says, “You’re only frustrated because this is part of who you are.”

And I know it’s right.

I get frustrated because I know I’ve been guilty of disrupting others. Of encroaching upon their time. Of giving unsolicited advice when it wasn’t welcome.

I think I’ve moved past this — and I have in many ways — but still it plagues me.

I am not a perfect person. I have my flaws, and I know I will always have them.

I can choose to cover up my flaws, or I can decide I want to do something better with them.

I can admit to them — first personally, and then with others.

I can wear them as a coat of arms and walk into battle with pride.

I’ve realized living in this way is disarming.

Rather than digging in and pushing away the annoyance, I can look up with assurance and meet the other person’s need.

If I’m so confident that I’ve moved past this myself, then here is a perfect opportunity to show it.

It’s a chance to help another dislodge some pain, or anxiety, or fear.

Is it right for me to say that I have it all figured out if I don’t commit to empowering others to do the same?

They say that the best way to learn something is to show you can teach it.

So, if I’ve truly learned from my pain and mistakes, then why shouldn’t I teach it?

Why can’t I project what I believe I am rather than hiding it from the world?

Wouldn’t that lead to more harmony and self-awareness for everyone?

I know that if I stay cocooned in my own internal world, soon the discord starts to creep in.

I think that I can buckle down, follow my path, be productive, and change the world.

But whose world am I changing? There are other people here, all pursuing similar dreams — just in different ways.

I need other people. I need them because they make up the world.

And if I’m going to change it, I sure need to let them in.

I don’t have it all figured out, even if that’s what I think to myself and tell the world.

The best I can do is stop what I’m doing, look up, and admit that I struggle too.