Because they challenge us to the limits of our open-mindedness, difficult relationships are in many ways the most valuable for practice. The people who irritate us are the ones who inevitably blow our cover. Through them we might come to see our defenses very clearly. Shantideva explained it like this: If we wish to practice generosity and a beggar arrives, that’s good news. The beggar gives us an opportunity to learn how to give. Likewise, if we want to practice patience and unconditional loving-kindness and an enemy arrives, we are in luck. Without the ones who irritate us, we never have a chance to practice.
Pema Chodron, The Places that Scare You