Saturday, May 05, 2012
Have you ever listened to one person give advice to someone else, but the wisdom triggered something in you? That happened to me this evening. I was watching an episode of "Dr. Phil," who I think has a great talent for speaking truth in a way that makes sense to a lot of people. He said something that he has said many times before:
"How much we trust another person is really a function of how much we trust ourselves to be strong enough to deal with their imperfections. If [you] trust somebody to be truthful and honest and they [aren't, you] can handle that. [You are] strong enough that [you] won't be emotionally bankrupt if somebody let's [you] down."
Those words have always rung true, but tonight they hit me in a way they never had before. A light bulb came on over my head. Up to this point, when someone has let me down, I have felt betrayed and personally attacked. It is almost as if I believed that I must not deserve to be treated any better.
I have always known that I do not do well with imperfections, neither my imperfections nor the imperfections of others. But what a surprise it was to me to realize that instead of reacting to their flaws, I am reacting to my own!
I am not perfect, never have been, never will be, no matter how hard I try. It stands to reason that nobody else is perfect, either. I need to learn to forgive myself for the mistakes I have made . . . and the mistakes I inevitably will make! Then and only then will I be able to forgive other people for simply being flawed human beings like me.