As a child, I made fun of a man without legs.
I stopped when I learned that he was a war hero.
And, I made fun of a schoolmate who was fat, and who I thought probably binge ate all the time.
I stopped when I realized that she was on medication with strong side effects, and never ate sweets.
I also made fun of a boy who always sat at the side of the class, downtrodden and submissive.
I stopped when I found out that he was a victim of abuse.
And, most of all, I made fun of a woman with a crooked face.
I stopped when I heard that when she’d been young, she’d had facial reconstruction after a bad accident.
It was during this time that I realized that people are different from my first impressions. I learned that people are, above all, the product of what they’ve overcome.
And it was then that I stopped letting appearances deceive me. Because beauty attracts the eyes, but personality attracts the soul.
I started to view life, and people, differently. And I began to think differently, too. Whenever someone treated me badly, I realized there was something wrong with them, not with me. Satisfied people don’t seek to destroy others.
And then, I saw the ocean for the first time. I saw strong people, surfing. I was surprised they didn’t choose the tame waves. Clearly, they didn’t enjoy them. Instead, they chose to tackle increasingly demanding ones. Even in everyday life, I realized that some people overcome every obstacle, solve every problem, and confront every test that life throws at them.
As an outsider, when I looked at them, I thought their lives must be great. But then, I realized there was more to it.
They attracted complicated relationships. Weak people, drunkards, liars, emotional extortionists, and desperate creatures. They conjured up the mental image of a strong man at the airport, weighed down by all the luggage, and struggling to keep up with wife. You know the one – the one whose wife is in front, shouting, “what are you doing back there? Come on, hurry up!”
Male or female, these people were much like strong magnets, tending to attract rubbish – simply because they could carry it.
Many people ask, “Why me?”. I focus on these people in my new book 100 Shortest Journeys to yourself. And I teach them how to see their situation differently from how it first appears. I teach them to understand, not with their head and eyes, but with their heart and soul.
Over the past six years, when people have shared their concerns with me, I’ve noticed three main types of complicated relationship that attract powerful people. If you think you’re a strong person (not based on how you look, or how far you’ve come in life, but mainly on what you’ve already overcome), and find yourself in one of these relationships, my book is for you.
Are you in any of the following relationships?
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