We know the words of Scottish pastor Ian Maclaren: “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” But they are words easier spoken than lived out.
This occurred to me when I read a friend’s post earlier tonight. What he wrote isn’t important, but it occurred to me how easy it us for us to pass judgment on how others process shame, pain, and life in general based on how we process those things.
When we observe someone that isn’t handling their shit the same way we would, we want to believe there must be something wrong with them. Maybe they aren’t as evolved, mature, aware, or as spiritual as we must be. If they were, they certainly wouldn’t be acting the way they are.
We think to ourselves, “I like how I process things and it works for me, so how I do it must work for everyone.”
What do the kids say these days? “Nah, bruh.”
If I’ve learned nothing in the past few years it’s that everyone’s way of handling the difficulties of life is their own. I can’t expect them to handle it the way I would. If I do put that expectation on another it seems to me to be the height of arrogance.
So the next time you see someone saying something or acting in a way that gets under your skin, maybe you should look at yourself and ask why it bothers you how someone else is dealing with their life.
My guess is that might be the real problem.