It was interesting to see how often we compare people and things.
A while ago, I had the unfortunate experience of being judged negatively by someone else’s experience; it stung like a bee sting. It hurt because of two things. First, the intention behind the situation had nothing to do with what they thought it was. Second, I was unaware of the matrix being used to judge me. The accusation broke my heart so I walked away from the person and conversation. In the end, an honest conversation with my coach righted my thinking.
I had taken issue with the person in this instance, but I had also done the same thing to others. How often have I taken offence when someone shows us late without asking? How often do we sit in our corner and decide what someone’s silence means? How often have we determined the impact of something was because of a specific action without asking? I was shocked when I saw myself in that space.
Several things came up from my reflections:
Do not judge or assume you know why something happens: there are always factors that I cannot see in the background of every interaction, and I need to be open to hearing about them. Every person is working through something, and they may be responding from pain, fatigue or other emotions I cannot understand.
Step back and evaluate your response: Yes, you are hurt or angry. Yes, you expected something different. Yes, others have done better. However, was your response the best? Could you have done something differently? How can you deal with the frustration created by the situation? What can you learn that will shift your response next time?
Forgive: We forgive for our personal sanity and not for recognition from the other person. We do not forgive so that we can make a show of it. We forgive to reconnect to our inner balance and remain connected to God. First, forgive yourself for getting angry and lashing out since it is not part of your character. Second, if you have been a short fuse for a long time, use this opportunity to learn to be a long fuse and gracious person. Third, forgive the other person. Finally, be free.
Extend grace: reach out and find out what is up with the other person. Encourage them, pray for them, raise a banner on their behalf, and place them in the hands of God.
As I reflected, I realised that I was upset because of comparing. I was seeing the actions of this person as the same as others who hurt me in the past. Ah! How good can life be if I do not compare people and experiences? How different will my response be when I learn to allow people to be themselves and meet me free of judgement? It would be absolutely different; that is what I am pursuing. There is extreme peace that comes with letting go: such peace.
Pursue peace by letting go of comparison and thrive.
I am still on the way, but I have grown.