I was born spiritually awake and highly anxious. I wish the former would balance out the latter, but it does not.
My anxiety is a part of me. It's a combination of genetics, my personality, and events from my past. I have spent most of my adult life trying to change this part of me with little success.
I am who I am.
While I can't say I will ever love this aspect of myself, I have come to some level of acceptance with it. Years of therapy and introspection have helped me understand why anxiety is my default coping mechanism. Now, more often than not, I can make space for my anxious reactions and shower my heart with compassion instead of cruel judgment. Being self-aware has been the critical piece to finding self-compassion. Knowing the "why" behind the behavior makes all the difference.
However, being self-aware is not easy. If it were, the world would be a much kinder place.
Often, when others hurt us, they think we are causing their pain or discomfort. In reality, they just don't know their why. Even if they did, life patterns become so ingrained they wouldn't necessarily catch it in the moment. Much like my anxiety pushes me into fear-based, negative thinking, others might lash out, say hurtful things, or leave us when they are locked into their own negative spiral.
Now, because I understand it's not personal when someone hurts me, I am able to extend compassion to them because I have learned to do this for myself. I am able to say, "Of course you are behaving this way because of your personality and the sum total of your past experiences."
This does not excuse bad behavior and boundary setting is how you show yourself and the world you value yourself, but it does crack open the door to forgiveness.
Forgiveness becomes the ultimate act of power because you understand the pain projected on you was never about you.
It wasn't your fault. Recognizing this is how you learn to begin to forgive.
Forgive for you.
Do this for you.
Inward & Onward
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