I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and I wanted to share some observations. I am incredibly grateful for the people I interact with on a daily basis who extend grace to
What if we assumed that the person who cut us off in traffic this morning isn’t just an idiot, but rather could have just got a call that his mother is in the hospital? Or if the parent in the grocery store with the obnoxious kid is actually a great parent who’s kid may have some sort of mental disorder? Or if that absent-minded cashier isn’t ignoring you, but just found out her house is being foreclosed on? Can you feel your body relax a little from letting go of that judgement and that sense of being wronged in those situations? By all means, please pass me and get to the hospital, your mom needs you! God bless you mama, it must be so hard to get through your day if this is what your typical grocery run looks like – can I get something for you? Thank you for your help in the check-out, I really hope things turn around for you soon, what a burden you must be carrying. And instead of taking things personally and stewing about how somebody else is a jerk, you can make an opportunity to contemplate your own personal blessings and be grateful for your own situation.
The added benefit to this, is that when you extend others compassion, it’s easier to do this for yourself. It’s easier to recognize that despite our best efforts, we screw up sometimes too – and that’s ok. We’ll try again next time, and hopefully do better but we’re not going to flog ourselves over our mess-ups – that doesn’t do anyone any good. It’s ok to let yourself off the hook, and it’s ok to do that for other people as well. More than likely, whatever you just screwed up is not going on your tombstone, so let’s get a little perspective.
It’s also important to appreciate what you are going through, whatever that may be and give ourselves credit for it. Many times we may have problems in our own lives and then look at others who have some different kind of profound problem and think we are feeling sorry for ourselves when we get down about it. We look at those other people and think, I’m not going through something as awful as that, so my thing isn’t really that big of a deal. Maybe it’s not the same, but maybe your thing is it’s awful in it’s own way. It’s really important to acknowledge that you are doing something hard when you are and give yourself credit for that. Don’t diminish your own strength and struggle because it doesn’t look like someone else’s. We could all sit in a circle and turn to the person next to us and think “thank God I’m not having to deal with that!”
Lets all just remember to cut each other some slack, you will never regret being kind.