Strong winds strengthen the tree, and prompt it to grow sturdier, deeper roots.  Loving kindness, rich soil and proper condition nurture it into maturity.  Without enough exposure to the elements however, the tree would not grow strong enough, and would topple over at the slightest storm.
The outer accomplishments of a “tall tree and a rich harvest” satisfies the ego more than a “deep root system” of a well grounded tree.
We say to our friends “Look at what I’ve accomplished!” and receive accolades.  On the other hand, the sturdy roots of our inner strength go unnoticed by most.
Outer accomplishments, the actions, the concrete results are usually favored in our society over our inner growth, our deep spiritual roots.

There was a time in my healing process, when I exposed myself purposefully to stormy conditions that would allow growing my roots stronger.  I would go interact with people I knew would trigger me, so that I could find the inner trigger and surrender it to the light.  I would eat foods I would have a depressed reaction to, (such as gluten) so that I could find the corresponding depressed pattern in me and surrender it to the light.  In between, I would rest and nourish my body and soul.

Recently, I was faced with the most interesting dilemma.
Someone in our group at the Farm, was successfully triggering me, and was relentlessly going after me, looking to get a rise out of me, and getting into conflicts with anyone who would engage them. Different people had different reactions to this person.  Some did their best to stay on this person’s good side, some thought it was best to ask this person to leave, some shut off completely, and some did their inner work.  It tested all of us in different ways.

I did what I do best: After a few initial confrontations that did nothing but throw oil on the fire, I looked at what was unconsciously inviting such interactions in my life, tracked the pattern which created my reaction, and surrendered them to the light. Over and over again, this person invited me to go deeper in myself, and clear forgotten hurts.  They could intuitively find the places in me that would still react in pain or anger.

An interesting point was raised by some people in our group: “At which point can we say we’ve had enough and move away, or ask that person to leave?  Is there a point where we can honestly say that it is not our issue but only the other person’s problem”?
I must admit that I did exclaim “I will continue doing my inner work, but frankly, I am done with this person!!”

Little did I know that this person’s greatest gift to me was yet to come.

Just a few days ago, as I was tracking in my heart my most recent reaction to this person, my physical heart started to sing the song of the buried hurt.  The pain was intense and irradiating all over–all the symptoms of a heart attack.  However, because it had started as I was doing my inner work, and vanished completely as soon as the pattern was cleared, I knew without a doubt that I was experiencing the direct physical manifestation of a forgotten inner pattern of hurt, which was contributing to the heart condition I am currently living with.
As that pattern was surrendered to the light, the physical pain was immediately replaced by waves of love and openness. I am now one step closer to healing my physical heart.

I am immensely grateful to have had this opportunity.  It would not have happened if I had followed my desire to get rid of the “problem” person by kick ing this person out of my life, instead of transmuting the emotional patterns within me.

Whenever I come to complete peace and resolution about someone or something, the other person either starts behaving completely differently towards me, or naturally goes their personal way.

At this point, this person has left of their own accord.  But they’ve announced that they might want to come back in the group I’m a part of. We have a decision to take: are we going to invite them back in, or close the door on them?

The dilemma I am facing is to discern when the winds of an inner tempest are strong enough to strengthen us, and when they are so strong that they will stunt our growth.  When is it time to grow the roots of our inner resilience, and when it is time to grow fruits…

The quiet voice inside of me is whispering to me that when I will be truly done with the lessons this person brings, it will no longer be an issue.  The resolution will be peaceful and loving…

What about you?  What is your take on this situation?  How have you successfully handled similar situations?