Why the Universe Strikes at Your Weakest Point

Have you ever had someone in your life who really gave you a hard time, really made things difficult for you, but you just couldn’t get out their grip?

I know I have.

One comes to mind, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

In [i]Zen and the Art of Happiness[/i], author Chris Prentiss write that [i]the Universe always strikes at your weakest point because that’s what most needs strengthening[/i].

He goes on to say that, your challenges are, in effect, hand delivered by a loviHave you ever had someone in your life who really gave you a hard time, really made things difficult for you, but you just couldn’t get out their grip?

I know I have.

One comes to mind, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

In [i]Zen and the Art of Happiness[/i], author Chris Prentiss write that [i]the Universe always strikes at your weakest point because that’s what most needs strengthening[/i].

He goes on to say that, your challenges are, in effect, hand delivered by a loving Universe to make you stronger. In order to get the benefit from the obstacles, face and overcome them rather than turning away from them and giving up.

Ah. Easier said then done.

Almost 15 years ago, when I first started working in Manhattan, I shared a common space with about ten other people, most of them who worked only part time. As part of this office set up, my desk was face-to-face with another desk, occupied by a woman we’ll call Marla.

Marla was 60-ish, with white hair and a gravelly smoker’s voice. She was sort of the queen of the room, having been with the company for several years. She was also an ex-stage actress–and from what I hear a fairly decent one–who had grown old, bitter and nasty as the years went on.

On almost a daily basis she ranted about throwing people out of office building windows, running them over with her car, and the like. And this wasn’t in the [i]I can relate ha-ha-ha[/i] kind of way. This was in the [i]I HATE you and everything around you and hope you seriously die[/i] kind of way.

Well, one day I needed to sharpen my pencil. Thing is, there was only one pencil sharpener in our little space. But since it was an electronic pencil sharpener, it required an outlet. So look and look I did, searching for any open outlet to plug this thing in just so I could sharpen my pencil. Well, after exhausting my search, it turned out that the only open outlet in the entire office happened to be on the power strip under my desk. Thinking nothing of it at the time, I plugged it in, placed the sharpener on my desk, and, as I had hoped to do, sharpened my pencil.

That was clearly my mistake.

Marla went on to rant about how rude and unprofessional I was because how dare I assume to place the pencil sharpener on [i]my [/i]desk, when the pencil sharpener was for everybody.

No joke. True story.

Needless to say, Marla was not exactly a joy to be around. I’ll go one step further, and say that I had a really tough time dealing with her. It wasn’t easy.

A few months later she finally retired, a welcome relief to us all, including me.

But my troubles didn’t end there. At my next job I wound up having to work with yet another older, annoying, miserable woman who took to making my work life unbearable. For about four months everybody said how mean I was because I wasn’t nicer to this old kook (when, in fact, I just wanted to do my job without being harassed by a bitter lunatic). It was only after several months when I finally just ignored this old nutball–I literally acted as if she didn’t exist–when she moved on to other people, who then wound up complaining about how rude and crazy she was.

And then, in my job after that, I had to deal with yet another bitter, old woman who tried to make me miserable, and, for a while at least, she succeeded.

See a pattern here? It took me a while, but I sure did.

It wasn’t until I learned how to deal with these older angry women that they stopped bothering me. Once I figured it out, they went away. I’ve had no such troubles since. I doubt that’s a coincidence.

Like Prentiss says, [i]the Universe always strikes at your weakest point because that’s what most needs strengthening[/i].

I’m not sure why these women bothered me as much as they did, but because they did, the Universe kept putting them in front of me. Of course, at the time, I didn’t see this as an opportunity to grow, as I do now. Back then I was incredibly angry and annoyed. They upset me to a considerable degree. More to the point, I let them upset me, blaming them for being who they were instead of learning how to make the best of it.

Since then I’ve tried to accept that situations and people who trouble me are actually these great opportunities to grow. Now, let me emphasize that I try to accept this. I try. And sometimes it works well. Other times … not so much. It ain’t always easy in the moment. But the more that I allow myself to take these frustrations as the Universe’s way of trying to help me, the better my attitude gets and the quicker I’m able to resolve whatever’s bugging me.

It’s a work in progress for sure, with plenty of ups and downs, although I will say that, overall, handle these problems better than I did in the past. I just wonder what the Universe will throw in front of me next…

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