“…sometimes when we are beating ourselves up, we need to stop and say to that harassing voice inside, “Man, I’m doing the very best I can right now.” Brene Brown, Rising Strong
I find this quote rather reassuring. We are far from perfection and sometimes we are more aware of the imperfection within us. Instead of beating ourselves up, perhaps we should tell ourselves that we are doing the very best we can right now. It is not the most ideal (who defines “ideal” anyway?) but it is our best effort.
Brown also asked another rather interesting question, “What if the person you judged harshly is also doing the very best he/ she can right now?” Given his/ her situation that you have limited knowledge of, maybe he/ she is trying his/ her best to make the most out of the situation. Maybe they are hurt and suffering in pain and that’s why they unintentionally hurt you with words. Maybe they are feeling ashamed about themselves and that’s why they unintentionally shame you. Maybe they are feeling guilty about what they have or have not done and that’s why they unintentionally guilt-trip you.
Forgiveness requires you to give people the benefit of doubt and to think that people’s actions are shaped by their circumstances. They cannot always choose the circumstances and given a choice, who would want to live life with so much pain, shame and guilt? Choosing to forgive is not always easy because you are hurt, scarred and sometimes damaged by the one you are trying to forgive. Forgiveness takes time and it may not be a straight-forward process (i.e. I want to forgive you, no I can’t forgive you for what you did to me).
But choosing to forgive will make you a better and bigger person. Try to forgive others for the mistakes that they have made. Never mind about the apologies unsaid, don’t let the absence of apologies be the thorn in your heart. It is not worth it. And try to forgive yourself for the wrongdoings that you have accused yourself of committing. Forgive yourself for not being perfect.