Monday, June 27, 2016

Patron Saint

Do you have a personal Patron Saint in your life? Someone who is able to guide you, be the voice of reason, support you, and is overall "on your team"? I have a couple of those, and I am grateful for them on a daily basis, because they are very instrumental to my happiness and well-being.

I've also been thinking a lot lately about the opposite, Patron Satans, if you will. These are the people that you feel at odds with. They feel against you. They cause you angst. They may be your biggest source of anger or sadness. They may destroy your self-confidence. They may make you feel crazy. They may make you feel confused and frustrated.

As though to balance out my wonderful Patron Saints, I have a Patron Satan that irks me to my core. Every time I interact with this person I can feel my emotional reactivity rise. I don't feel like myself around them, instead, I feel like the worst version of myself. After almost every interaction I feel like my self-confidence has been drop-kicked to a distant shore.

BUT, I'm calling these people Patron Satans (some may call them arch-nemeses) because they have a 'patron-type' quality despite being huge pain . By that I mean they still guide and inform us, but in a different way than our Patron Saints. They help us clarify our antithesis--who we never want to become. They might also help us notice our greatest weaknesses and biggest struggles, if we can can manage to step out of the emotions and look at the situation halfway objectively.

I feel fairly certain that the 'wisdom' (i.e. lessons learned) from a Patron Satan comes long after they are out of our life, or are at least distanced. I feel this way because I suspect the emotion involved in dealing with my own Patron Satan clouds my judgement and perspective. I try so hard to step outside of my situation to peer back in to see what's really going on. It's so damn hard. The 'wisdom' I hope to glean from it all is like a jumbled up puzzle. I can't even find all the corner pieces right now, let alone see the final image.

Intellectually, I know that interacting with my Patron Satan is an opportunity, and that if I can *embrace* the challenge, then there will be growth. Perhaps I can even transform the relationship so that they become just another person. My Patron Satan is here to teach me the ugly lessons (or so I tell myself), lessons that my Patron Saints can only help guide me through.

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