“You have no friends. You have no enemies. You only have teachers.” ~Ancient Proverb
My very wise aunt, a talented psychotherapist and one of my spiritual teachers, has told me many times that the people, places, and things that trigger us are just “props in our spiritual drama.”
This phrase has stuck with me for years because it’s catchy and it rings so true to me. If we are struggling, it’s not a matter of the external force, it’s about what it provokes in us.
We don’t heal by trying to change others. We heal through breaking cycles; through knowing and honoring ourselves by creating healthy boundaries, processing the past, and living presently to make different choices.
We don’t grow by staying in the same circumstances and hoping they will be different, or by leaving one set of circumstances only to repeat the same patterns with new people and places. We grow by stepping out of our inner default programming and into discomfort, and by consciously shifting away from the patterns we know and choosing different environments and dynamics.
The people, places, and things that come into our lives are there for our spiritual journey, learning, and evolution. We can use these ‘props’ for good, we can use them to stay stuck, or we can use them to spiral down. As adults, the choice is ours.
The props in our spiritual drama are what trigger us the most. They may be people, situations, or even certain qualities we notice in strangers.
My most challenging relationship is with my father, and while I could get stuck in that hardship story, I believe that he was placed in that role to assist me in the lessons I needed to learn while growing up and into young adulthood.
The guy that I just dated, who I fell hard and quick for, was a prop in my relationship practice and process in continuing to clearly define what I want in a partner and what healthy boundaries I need to set.
When I feel pain in my heart and want to stand up for the child who is being yelled at by a stressed mother on the subway, it shows me my own emotional hurt and the ways I haven’t expressed my truth about how my young inner child was treated poorly.
When I feel anger when confronted with economic inequality, inconsideration/lack of caring, and other injustices in this world, it teaches me that I am not doing enough to feel satisfied and proud of the ways in which I contribute positively to society.
Anything that I have not made peace with, found forgiveness…