At the Heart of Many Misunderstandings
Who has not been in a situation when he and another appear to be opposing forces? What started it is no longer the issue. Of course, each party feels hurt, and each party feels justified for the hardness in his heart. Someone did not do right. Each thinks it is the other who did not do right. Each feels victimized. Each sees the other as a villain, perhaps even an arch-villain.
Each party wants to be loved. Whatever the precipitating incident, each party did not love and was not loved, at least, not enough. Each party had his back up. To the parties involved, it becomes a question of honor, integrity, virtue, rightness, justice. This is how it seems.
Someone's lack of awareness has become an outrage, an unforgivable outrage. And each defends his position. He or she was put upon. The other was heartless. The other had no consideration. The other was the bad guy.
Be leery when you view your honor as being at stake. For the word honor, substitute the word ego.
At least in the old days, when a couple danced and the lady made a mis-step, the gentleman said, "Excuse me." In effect, he was saying: "Please pardon me for your mis-step." Society set dance up this way. Somehow this graciousness slipped through. This graciousness, this graciousness at its utmost, slipped through. How beautiful! What does it cost to say: "Excuse me."
Now, let's get back to the two offending/offended family members or friends, and, at the present, neither can come forth and be the first to let go of the hurt. Somebody has to let go of it. They have to be able to let go of the hardness of heart. When? Both parties wishing the boulder separating them would disappear, are like schoolboys who maintain: "He started it."
That may be true. It may be so that the other boy did start it. It may be so that he started it for no reason. Yet how long should the fight continue? The better question to ask is: "Who is going to end the mini-war?
Everyone believes in forgiveness, yet stubbornness often maintains a stalwart sense of being the wronged party. What is so wonderful about being the wronged party? How does that vindicate you or anyone or justify your holding on to what has to be let go of?
Forgiveness is letting go of an event gone wrong. Forgiving is freedom. Letting go is freedom. Forgiving is removing a barrier. A gate crashed down, and now you get the gate out of the way. If no one else seems capable of removing the gate, then perhaps you are the one to move it aside.
If there is guilt in the precipitating incident, it is guilt of ignorance. One party had no idea of the hurt he was going to inflict. He could have, should have, but he didn't. And he, because of not quite believing in himself, cannot bring himself to admit that he is not altogether without responsibility, yet he may have been the actor, not so much the reactor. Because of not valuing himself enough, the one who introduced the separation feels bound to carry himself as the one being wounded. The reaction of the other did wound him, and he is not yet able to get past his own hurt.
I do not tell you to belie your own feelings. I do tell you to start working on yourself on the more subtle levels. Work on your own heart so that you can speak truthfully and mend a wall.