There are many times in our lives where someone hurts our feelings, says or does the wrong thing or simply rubs us the wrong way. We tend to be selfish creatures and dwell on the impact these have on us personally with little or no regard to how they are to others. But I like to think that our attitude and overall reaction plays a significant role in how we handle those situations and how it all ends.
First, I attempt to examine the situation and the person from their perspective. This is very difficult because we are overwhelmed by our own feelings. But we must separate ourselves for a moment and imagine the scenario roles are played by different individuals. What was their intention? Did the culprit wake up this morning saying, “I’m going to be abrupt today?” “Who can I hurt or offend?” Most likely not. It is easy to pull out the mud, maggots, and mess from someone but to be the one that finds the gold, is truly a treasure worth holding.
I then release the need to blame someone, including myself. Communicate, apologize for my part and make note that mistakes are teachers, not sticks to beat ourselves or others. I then, use the circumstance to draw me closer in my relationship. I ask questions like, “What did you mean by that?” or simply say, “That was rather harsh. I didn’t realize I offended you in such a way. What can I do in the future to prevent this?”
Then I learn to recognize myself in other people. I view the moment as a mirror to understand what I may look like and the reflection I may be portraying. Notice there is no space for blame or judgment and absolutely no room to take captive like a victim of another’s actions or words. I attempt to prepare a way for love-based understanding and communication, to build the relationship and make it stronger rather than destroy it. I seek compromise and forgiveness. Mother Teresa put it best when she said, “if you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Then, of course, I take a deep look at my anger, the offense, the moment in question. In most occurrences, I see that the person I dubbed as an enemy was also suffering. As soon as I recognize that, the capacity to accept them, love them and have compassion for the blossoms.
Moving forward and forgiving does not mean we accept the behavior or rekindle trust. But it allows the situation to no longer take up space in our lives, thoughts and actions. There is no mercy for those who do not show mercy and there is true growth if we choose to be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and forgiving heart, the one who looks for the best in people.
I’m not implying we allow people to walk all over us, that we take the punches and go back for more. I am saying to look deep into the person, their intentions, the situation and remind ourselves that our beliefs don’t make us a better person, our behavior does.
Girl, it’s time to focus on the sparkle. As we begin a new year, I encourage you to attempt to leave people better than you found them. Imagine if the moment in question was the last moment either of you had on earth. What words would be spoken? What memories embedded of your last encounter? Life is short. Don’t hold back. Forgive like you have amnesia, see through the eyes of a child, display love and in being true to yourself, allow others to be true to themselves also. A true relationship is two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other. Most of all, the people that are meant to be together are the ones who go through everything that is designed to tear them apart and yet come out even stronger.
© c. michelle bryant
Michelle Bryant is an entrepreneur, nationally acclaimed award-winning artist, inspirational speaker, self-published author of five books available at most online retailers, a multi-award winning, published photographer whose work is nationally used for worldwide marketing campaigns and featured on various items including but not limited to apparel. She shines her light and speaks from her heart in an encouraging and transparent manner and offers a message of hope, healing, and victory to any who encounters her or her works. You can check out her multitude of works at: www.divinelyfocused.com.