Why Irritation is a Really Good Thing

A friend of mine used to say “Gotta have the friction if you want to get the pearl!” 

It was his wise way of reminding me how many things in life require a bit of grit and tenacity if we want to reach our dreams.

Like a pearl that becomes fully formed and beautiful only as the result of coming into regular contact with an irritant (in this case, a particle that gets inside an oyster or mussel) so too can we become more polished and beautiful by walking through tough times. 

Naturally, we’d all prefer that life be smooth and easy but—please tell me you’re sitting down—it doesn’t work that way.   

Irritants are everywhere (I bet you’ve noticed) and they come in many forms: rush hour traffic, screaming children, not being able to sleep, silly mistakes, grumpy coworkers, annoying habits that spouses/friends/relatives have, health challenges, heartbreak, working hard but not seeing the results we want. 

What do we do with these irritants? Do we let them rub us the wrong way? Discourage or defeat us? Or do we let them teach us new ways to grow and come into our own? 

This is when I like to play the WHAT IF game: 

What if life is simply tossing a little grit into the mix to help me stretch outside my comfort zone, let go of what’s no longer working, or get better at asking for help?

What if it’s nudging me to take a leap of faith? 

What if it’s telling me to shuck my to do list and take a big dog nap?

What if……(stand back) the message is……this is a really good time to burst out laughing at the absurdity of it all! (I love when I choose this one.)  

I like to think that whatever life is presenting, I’m being given a chance to become more and more like a pearl, more like the person I’m destined to be.

Some days I find this completely irritating. Ha!   

Most days, I smile because I see how a little bit of grit and a big dash of tenacity are making life feel quite exciting.  

What’s irritating you these days? C’mon, share some grit with me. I’m all ears.  Xo