Its currently the wee hours of the morning as I write this post. I guess you could say that sleep has gotten away from me. This is mainly because of a few negative thoughts that I just couldn’t seem to let go of as a result of a seemingly challenge filled day. I won’t dare bore (or entertain) you with the intricate details, but I will share with you the invaluable lessons that I’ve learned.
The lesson touches upon one of my favorite affirmations by my favorite author of all time, Louise Hay, and deals with the subject of forgiveness, and it goes like this:
“I forgive you for not being the way I wanted you to be. I forgive you and I lovingly set you free.” –Louise Hay
Part of the reason that I love this affirmation so much, is because it not only helps with directing one’s thoughts towards thoughts of forgiveness–forgiveness of others, and forgiveness of oneself– but it helps to direct one’s thoughts towards thoughts of compassion and being non-judgemental.
It’s so easy for us as human beings to judge those people who do, or say things in ways that we disapprove of. So much so, that we become angry or upset with them, often applying labels as we recount those experiences. These very labels that we apply to others are just one more reason that we tell ourselves that we cannot forgive that person.
For example, If someone is having a really bad day and they take it out on you, many would naturally feel some level of offense, and possibly label this particular person as being rude, or offensive in that moment, and choose to respond to this person from this feeling space. Now whether the response is positive or negative, ideas have already been formed about who, or what this individual is like.
Pretty reasonable rationale right?..
But how often is it that before passing judgement on the situation, we actually put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Now I’m not saying that one has to give a pass to others for negative behavior. But I am saying that perhaps having an understanding that “hurt people, hurt people,” and that no one’s negative behavior is ever something to be taken personal, would help us to see life differently, and have more pleasant experiences to be grateful for.
This affirmation expresses this best because when we are offended by someone’s behavior, it is because we are judging them for not being the way we want them to be. This very judgement is what keeps us from having compassion and understanding of the human experience. And a major part of the human experience deals with the ways in which we cope with life, based on the experiences that we have while we are here. If we can’t place ourselves in the shoes of someone else, yes, even if they have somehow wronged us, then forgiveness and peace about the situation becomes difficult to achieve and there will be a constant internal conflict whenever this person is in your presence, or you speak of the situation.
Most importantly, judging others is merely a reflection of the ways in which we judge ourselves. We must learn to take other people’s behavior and choices less personal, and understand that they, just like you and I, are only responding to life based on coping mechanisms that have been built as a result of life experiences. Becoming aware of your own ways of coping, and being gentle with yourself as you look to those coping mechanisms that serve you best is the beginning of learning how to forgive. Once you learn to love yourself through your own transition/journey– just as God and the Universe loves us despite our flaws– forgiveness, compassion, and empathy will soon follow with a lot less effort.
But it starts with YOU.
…Some lesson to receive at this hour of the morning, but its one worth sharing… Now off to sleep I go.