“In denying love to anyone, I deny myself a miracle. In withholding forgiveness from anyone, I withhold it from myself.” — Marianne Williamson
It’s easy to judge others. It’s easy to blame and criticize others. But it takes an incredible amount of wisdom, objectivity, maturity, kindness, and empathy to see a sliver of goodness and purity within them.
As lofty and challenging as it may sound, we must all strive to become a higher version of ourselves in our day-to-day interactions. It’s crucial that we become an instrument of love, a vessel that reminds others of their innocence rather than a constant spewer of blame and judgment, a source that reminds them of their follies.
Rather than monitoring other people’s choices, decisions, and direction, it’s much wiser to focus on our own lanes and our own journeys. As Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself, “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” As tempted we may be to comment on someone’s chosen path, pass a few words of advice, or try to control their behavior, we must remind ourselves that our inner peace lies in letting go, having a deep acceptance of people exactly as they are, and respecting their individual journeys.
“One must always remember, as Lincoln put it about the South, that ‘they are just what we would be in their situation.’ When you see other people’s weaknesses, use it as a rubric to judge and improve yourself. Not as a method for condemning or mocking.” — Ryan Holiday
We must remember that each of us is a child of God. And if you and I are beloved by Lord, then all of us are beloved by Lord. It’s wise to therefore pray to awaken the divinity within us — to earn the power to see all beings through the eyes of God — so that we might understand where other people are coming from and appreciate their uniqueness and innocence along with ours.
As the lines from a short prayer by Marianne Williamson go:
May I see beyond the veil of guilt,
Focusing no more on the mistakes of others.
May I see instead the light of innocence
That is the truth of who they are.