Spiritual sandpaper
/ˈspiriCH(o͞o)əl ˈsan(d)ˌpāpər/
someone who seems to get off on making your life miserable.
“my ex is my spiritual sandpaper”

We all have people in our lives who challenge our sanity, at least from time to time.

Their motives matter not. Sometimes it’s their way of being that drives us crazy. Other times it’s because they seem hell bent on ruining our lives.

I call these people my spiritual sandpaper.

I want to share with you a story about the most challenging spiritual sandpaper I’ve ever encountered. I want to share with you just how egregiously I was wronged. The despair I felt as my entire world unraveled. The harm it caused to those most precious to me. The great financial loss I incurred. 

And then I want to share with you just how I transcended everything because I’m so damned spiritually evolved.

But I won’t. You really don’t need to know the details. And let’s be clear – the only one who thinks that I’m spiritually evolved is my ego.

Instead, I’m going to share with you something far more useful. 

I’m going to give you the exact steps I took to truly forgive my ultimate spiritual sandpaper. 

If you do what I did with full sincerity and an open heart, I have no doubt that what worked to banish my resentments and forgive the guy who seemed hellbent on ruining my life will also work for you.

Understand that I chose to forgive him because resenting him was poisoning me. 

In other words, my motivation to forgive was selfish and simple; I craved freedom from the agony and despair and injustices that were eating my spirit alive. I did not forgive him because I aspired to be a good person.

I didn’t even know how to forgive someone from the depths of my heart. I mean, how do you transform anger, bitterness, and resentment into something beautiful?

I figured that meditation or at least some hardcore reflection was going to be necessary. So, inspired by a Dalai Lama quote printed on an old greeting card, I figured I should start meditating on feeling compassion for him.

This wasn’t easy. For starters, I was actively immersed in one of the most trying moments of my life (you can read more about it here).

Also, I didn’t yet have a well-established meditation practice and found myself fidgeting relentlessly as my back slumped and legs fell asleep. And, I received zero support from my fiancé for pursuing forgiveness over hatred. But I kept at it because I was falling apart and knew that the only thing that I truly had the power to change was myself.

I meditated as though my life depended on it (in a way, it did). I meditated on feeling true compassion and love for my ultimate spiritual sandpaper. And, I meditated on seeing him as his highest self – the person who he truly was deep down rather than the beast that my mind had created.

I sent all of the love and light I could muster to him. I visualized embracing him. I even visualized the entire collective love and light of the world embracing him. 

The effect that this compassion-centered meditation practice had on me was miraculous.

I stopped feeling fear and grew stronger. The despair and deep-seated resentment dissipated, and ultimately I forgave him. 

Of course, there were times when I failed to be a shining beacon of light and regressed back to a fear state. Nonetheless, my new meditation practice made it easier to return to a place centered around compassion, love, and forgiveness.

Transforming what I believed to have been an enormous injustice into an opportunity to become a more compassionate woman was a gift. So were the opportunities to not resent another person under such trying circumstances, set (and honor) solid boundaries, and be the woman I strove to be.

However, the greatest gift was that it shifted my whole paradigm. I learned first hand the power of meditation and the serenity that comes from desiring the same things for my spiritual sandpaper as I desired for myself.

If you are holding resentments – no matter how great – and wish to free yourself of them, why not see if what worked for me can work for you? What have you got to lose? 

Try my method for forgiving your spiritual sandpaper.

  1. Act with impeccable integrity.
  2. Ask the Universe, God, or whatever resonates to help you be your best self.
  3. Don’t react when presented with bait. Respond only if you must (you probably won’t).
  4. Reject the ego’s need to be right with the statement (spoken or thought) “You could be right.” Note that this is true even when you know that they are wrong AF.
  5. Meditate on feeling true compassion for this person.

It was also overy important for me to not pity my spiritual sandpaper. In other words, I wasn’t thinking “He can’t help behaving like an entitled MF! Poor guy…” Framing things that way would have kept me feeling self-righteous and above him; it would have kept me identifying with an ego-driven “better than” or “more spiritually evolved than” mindset.

Listen to my compassion meditation.

This guided meditation is 10 minutes long and is set to beautiful music recorded by Chris Collins. It’s a feel-good meditation that is sure to leave you feeling like you’ve been hug-bombed by a giant warm fuzzy when you’re through. And, you can do it even if you are loving the world and everyone in it!

Click here to access the Compassion Meditation and transcript.


I’d love to hear from you. Have you tried this approach? Did it work? Do you have any favorite strategies you’d like to share with other readers? Please comment below if you do!