Everyone messes up. You, me, everyone. People treat people unkindly, and hopefully it’s unintentional. It is important to acknowledge mistakes and learn from them so they don’t repeat. Paulo Coelho said “How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.” For the most part I believe this to be true and this insight can save us a loads of pain. When someone is impatient, when someone is mean, when we cannot seem to please that person no matter how kind are actions are…We don’t have to take it personally and feel rejected.
Maybe you’ve been treated “unfairly” by a friend, family member, coworker, or significant other. Feels awful, right? Sure, many times it is your fault. However, often times it’s not. Treating people shitty and hurting people is a flaw of the human character but I believe that more often than not it is not intentionally. The way someone acts or treats you isn’t a reflection of you. It is usually a projection of themselves. People do this to protect themselves. From their past, their fears, and from the uncertainty of the future. That’s on them, not you. But we should not treat people poorly when they treat us poorly. When people behave awful it doesn’t mean they are an awful person. Again, the way they act towards others is about themselves. So we can feel compassion and be kind – and let it go. What do you think?
I won’t go into the spiritual part that’s taken years to develop between me and yoga (happy to discuss if you want to ask me in person), but yoga has helped me create the space, freedom and compassion to forgive people and forgive myself. I am not saying it’s easy or instant. It is a process. The old saying goes- treat others as you’d like them to treat you, even if you don’t think they deserve it. We never really know what any person is going through (or how they feel what they are going through) but when you treat others kindly, you’ll feel happier with yourself. I’m not saying go out of your way to do nice things for them, but be kind in the moment. Maybe that kindness is simply in the form of forgiveness. Forgive others to set yourself free and don’t be so hard on yourself either. Forgive yourself too.