When you’re in a difficult situation that you cannot change, ask yourself: “What greater purpose might this be serving in my life?”

Let’s say you’re working for someone who is rude, inconsiderate and hurtful. However, you need the job, and you don’t see an easy alternative. You know there’s little chance of changing her demeanor, and by speaking up, there’s also the possibility of losing your job. For now, you need the money, so you can’t leave. Unfortunately, situations like this with no clear path out are not that uncommon.

In these scenarios, we’re forced to change the meaning of this event in our life in order to get through it. Specifically, we must find a way to understand how this might be serving us in some way that we don’t quite understand yet.

For example, in this scenario, you may tell yourself: “This is an opportunity for me to recognize that the suffering she is causing me is actually a result of her own inner suffering. Instead of taking it so personally, perhaps I can work to cultivate compassionate toward her despite every tendency in my mind to do the opposite.”

Now you’ve taken an experience that you feel trapped in and turned it into an opportunity for positive growth.

I am certainly not encouraging to stay in toxic situations if you can get out. But if you don’t have a choice, it is very helpful to reframe the situation so that it could be serving you, on some level, in a positive way.