I have always found (as I’m sure you have to) that when something resonates as the truth for me it tends to quickly become part of my belief system, which therefore makes it a tool for me to use – like when I realized why smoking was not doing anything for me and I was able to quit instantly with my new knowledge. Or when I realized that my life’s purpose was to learn, grow, and share, my work days seemed to quickly become easier and more productive because of that awareness.
Last night I found another tool – a simple truth – that I can use for forgiveness. I’m amazed at how quickly this incorporated into my belief system and was able to allow me to forgive a bunch of moments that I had been holding on to.
I hope it resonates as a simple truth for you as well.
It is simply this: That if they could have done better, they would have done better.
That little saying has helped me realize that my mother doesn’t know any better than to question my every move with a disapproving face and tone; if she did know better (how it truly affects me when she says it) than she wouldn’t do it. It’s simply what she does based on what she knows. How can I blame her for doing something that is all she knows? If she could do better, she would do better.
It’s helped me realize that every person who does something rude, mean, or arrogant to me simply doesn’t know any better. They are literally doing what they can with the awareness, knowledge, and tools that they have in their personal life.
They don’t have the capacity to do anything else because it’s just who they are – what they know – how they react to things…And if they could have done better, they would have done better.
I’m not trying to be arrogant and say that they are beneath me or not up to my awareness in life. I’m just saying that they don’t look at life and other people’s feelings the way I do – and they don’t have the ability to do that yet.
For instance I know what words will hurt people’s feelings when I say them to them, and because I am aware of the affect those words will have on people, I simply don’t say them. I don’t want to hurt people and make them feel bad with my words, so I find another way to say what I want to say without hurting their feelings – or I don’t say anything at all.
Now if everyone that I interacted with governed themselves by this rule then no one would say something to intentionally hurt my feelings.
With this awareness I can see that they may be saying something to hurt me, they may have the intention to make me feel bad, but they don’t have the ability to not say it to me, and how can hold them responsible for not having the ability to hold back their hurtful words? In my eyes, I can’t. This makes it easy to forgive them!
I suppose I used to wonder why they had to be so hurtful. I would ponder over the fact that they were trying to make me feel bad and make themselves feel good – and this would not allow me to forgive them. In fact, it would make me hang on to my resentment even more. But now that I realize that they would do better if they could do better, I see that even though the intent of hurting me and making themselves feel better may be there – there is no other way they know how to live…and that simple truth allows me to forgive them for their hurtful, mean, and arrogant ways.
This insight on forgiveness came from Jack Canfields – The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. I’m assuming you are going to hear a lot more about insights that I receive from this book. I highly recommend reading it!