Joan: Do you have one person in your life that really irks you? No matter what you say or do, this person has the ability to totally ruin your day, or in some cases, your month, year, and even life! I know I do.

Q. Wow, someone got to you. Sorry to hear that Joan. But you’re not alone. I think this is common. What happened with you?

Joan: Recently, a trusted friend informed me that a person said something about me that was cruel and extremely hurtful. The event took place at a location that I enjoyed visiting. When I found out what happened, I got very upset. My immediate reaction was to stop going to this place and cut myself off from everything there – including the joy I derived from being there and the people with whom I formed close relationships.

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Q. I can only imagine how hurtful this person’s words must have been. What did your friends say about your decision to cut yourself off from a place you enjoyed?

Joan: Many of my friends told me that by allowing this person to have such a significant impact on my life and keep me from a source of joy that I was letting her win and that I was the only person suffering.

Intellectually I knew they were right, but emotionally I wasn’t ready to listen. It was my way of protecting myself.

Q. How did you work your way through it?

Joan: I read this quotation and it seemed to come to me right when I needed it. It really put things in perspective:

There is 1 universe, 8 planets, 204 countries, 7 seas, 7 billion people … and you’re going to let one person ruin your day? ~ unknown

The world is so big … and the person that hurt me is just a speck. How could I give so much power to one little speck? Who was the loser – the person making trouble or me?

So, the next time someone is causing you heartache and making your life difficult, remember that in the grand scheme of things, the person is a teeny-tiny speck; a little dot in a vast universe. Remain powerful and in control of your life. Don’t let anyone ruin your day!