“The people who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most."
Some people have hardened their hearts or have not been raised with love in their lives growing up. Some of them do learn to accept the love of another at some point in their life but those who lacked this vital element in their early years, have learned to survive without it. Therefore for them, love is most difficult to give and/or receive.
Maybe some people grew up under tough circumstances and view showing love as a weakness rather than the most elemental gift in the human spirit. Maybe that defense is all they've ever known and simply haven't developed the ability altogether. Sometimes people can just be flat out bitter about life's events and choose to be grumpy. And other times it may be that some people are just having a harder time dealing with things in their life than we realize.
In any case, these people can be very challenging to deal with. However, those who are the hardest to love can be the ones who teach us the most about ourselves. They can reveal to us where our boundaries lie, show us where our unconditional love falters, and becomes splintered into conditional love. They can help to reveal our levels of judgement. These people can possibly teach us some of the most important lessons in our life such as patience and compassion.
I've realized that it's important to show patience and compassion no matter how frustrating it can be to deal with certain types of people. Everybody has a story and not one of us has walked a mile in anyone else's shoes so we really never know what people are going through and should always refrain from passing judgement on them, or anyone for that matter.
Another thing to remember is to not take things personally. Don Miguel, author of the "Four Agreements" reminds us that: "Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering." Remembering this can be very helpful during those frustrating moments with a person who is difficult to deal with.
And last, but not least I've learned that one of the keys to keeping your sanity in times like this is to remain detached from the situation. Detachment is an inner state of calmness and being uninvolved on the emotional and mental planes. It is definitely not indifference. People who are indifferent, do not care about anything, and are not active and initiative. On the other hand, people who possess emotional and mental detachment can be very active and caring, though they accept calmly whatever happens. Such people accept the good and the bad equally, because they enjoy inner balance and peace.
If you're dealing with a person who is difficult or a family member who is hard to love, just take a step back and think before you act. Don't let anyone drain your energy, get the best of you or make you lose your composure. Try to look at things from a different perspective and just do the best you can.
Remember that everyone is fighting their own battle in life and everything they do is not always directed towards you. Just be kind... for the people who are the hardest to love truly are the ones who need it the most. As George Washington Carver once said: "How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these."