Monday, December 16, 2013

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

One trick I use to help me forgive people who are behaving badly is to put myself in their shoes.  I try to see the world from their perspective.  Why are they doing what they're doing?  What rejections, abuses, hurts and scars from their past are motivating their actions today?  Might I behave just as badly under similar circumstances?

Also, is it possible that I might be pushing their buttons, just as much as they are pushing mine?  Why? 

I try to imagine what they were feeling and thinking when the upset occurred. I let my imagination go and create a story in my mind about what they may have been faced with.  It doesn't matter whether I come up with the actual truth of what was going through their minds.  My willingness to swap places with them for a moment is the act of forgiveness.  In that moment, we become brothers as I drop my judgment and release my hurt and anger. 

Sometimes the thought of feeling any sympathy whatsoever for someone who is behaving badly is very distasteful at first.  I have a strong resistance against seeing things from their side.  I know from experience, however, that I will feel so much better if I just turn it around.  It takes courage to face it, but if I do it, I will heal myself and this healing leads to happiness.
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