Do You Ever Feel Like You Don’t Understand?

November 14, 2012 · 3 comments

Suffice it to say that from the White House to the crack house, you never really know what is going on in someone’s life and for certain, things are never what they seem.

When’s the last time someone let you borrow their shoes so that you could feel the pain associated with walking in them?  Most of us aren’t psychic so we don’t know what is going on in people’s lives and more importantly, we don’t understand how situations that mean nothing to us often mean something to them. The truth is there is a reason people behave a certain way but too often we judge people without knowing their story – or as I like to refer to it, their yesterday. Each one of us has a yesterday that contributes to who we are today. Over the years I have found that if I take the time to understand a person’s yesterday, I am much more forgiving of what they’ve become today.

When you understand the battles that people have endured or the stress they are under, you may be far more willing to forgive them for their behavior.  Don’t get me wrong.  This is not a hall pass for inviting people with chronic bad behavior into your life that will suck your energy away; but this is about understanding that there are times when people have acute bad behavior and there is a legitimate reason for it.

One of the greatest gifts I have been given this lifetime was when I learned to give people the benefit of the doubt.  When I finally figured out that most people did not wake up that day with a specific mission in life to piss off Wendy, my life changed.

Instead, I believe that for the most part, everyone is a good person – they just may be having a bad day.  The next time you are having a bad day for whatever reason, be thankful when someone cuts you some slack without knowing the circumstances behind your behavior.  Most of us have enough work to do on our own life, leaving little time to judge other people’s affairs.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tenacious Todd November 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Great message Wendy! You just never know the situation people are in behind the scenes.

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Marclyn Paige November 15, 2012 at 11:54 am

Hi Wendy,

Very nicely put. Who I am today is a direct correlation to who I was
pre- sobriety, and the behavior I exhibited pre-sobriety was a direct correlation to why I had became a drunk along with other several other contributing factors. I immediately knew instinctively that you were someone I could trust and would accept me for who I am. As you so beautifully summarized that if we used our energy of making sure we can accept ourselves in the mirror first, it leaves little time for us to judge others but to be more available to help them when they are down. I till have a long journey ahead of me one day at a time but sticking with the winners like you has a powerful positive influence on me.

Thank you.

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Diane November 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Ouch. I needed to hear(read) your message today. I have been short on patience recently due to circumstances in my own life which are adding new challenges. I need to cut myself some slack and think before I speak/ react to others. Thanks, Wendy for the reminder.

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