Helping those we harmed heals many wounds,
builds character, and lays the foundation
for incredible happiness.
|There are times in all our lives when our choices are decidedly focused on meeting our own needs. For a time, we cared little about who or what we harmed. We viewed our needs as so great, and meeting them so vital, that we gave no thought to the effect our actions might have on others.
We wanted what we wanted, and got what we got. In the wake of our choices, we left a trail of hurting people and/or damaged property, and a growing resistance to our presence.
Guilty, as charged. Most of us make choices to varying degrees, that resemble this.
In time, some people may not want to be around us because of the difficulty and pain they experience in our presence. Left unchecked, we can blow through relationships so fast that soon we find ourselves without friends.
What should we do when we find people regularly pushing us away?
(1) We can view ourselves as victims of rejection growing out of other people's prejudice and selfishness. We can nurture feelings of resentment, believing that others should treat us with acceptance and kindness, all the while pushing our way into their world, trying to force them to treat us 'fairly;' or
(2) We can realize that our words and actions cause others to dislike us and not want to be around us. We can drop our 'victim' way of thinking, and humbly accept our role in the problem. We can ask forgiveness of others and give forgiveness to ourself for all the pain we have caused in our own life. Then we can begin building a foundation of kindness by bringing benefit to those we have previously caused pain to.
Choosing to do kind and selfless acts of charity to those we have harmed not only changes the hearts of others toward us, but changes our heart. It plants seeds of happiness that choke out the feelings of painful rejection.
Forgiveness has, yet another dimension.
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