• The elderly have always taught me to always strive to be a better person than the people that are constantly offending me. How can I accept all of these values?  I know that they may had disappointments in their lives, but they never complain about any hardship or pain from how they were treated by others. I was encouraged to always keep smiling and fake it in order to make it. I have to stay busy and keep it moving even when I’m hurting because I can’t let people get under my skin. Life is too precious to waste my energy on unkind people that don’t have my best interest. I try to treat people the way I want to be treated. I want to feel good striving to be the better person.

    Those are the kind sayings that I was taught, but it did not prepare me for the real world. I was not aware of the thunderstorms that came with those profound teachings. I can turn the other cheek and cope with the scandals that come with life experiences. I have tried to be at peace, but there are people that are not peacemakers. These people are in need of inner peace because their ship is sailing, but they are drowning in their own misery.

    Life can have some turbulence while expecting my offenders to adapt to climate weather.  Some have rejoiced to see me suffer in pain. It could be jealousy.  Whatever the circumstances are, I can’t say that I always want to be the better person.  Some people are really mean and ruthless, and it hurts to do what is right.  They capitalize on other people’s unhappiness.  They are never at peace.  Their judgment is clouded, and it is unclear to see their intentions.  Why will I want to embrace them if their determination is to drag me with them?  My elderly advisors would not want to see me suffer.

    I have options.  I can choose to embrace them and accept that my life will have challenges.  Or I can also ignore it.  My options are not limited.  I can accept it, ignore it, or address it.  I will not allow my frustration to overtake me.  There aren’t any room for excuses.  With age and life experiences, I can see a snake in the grass a mile away.  I have to wise up and accept my part.  I have to use sound judgment because my elderly advisers were not addressing the people that have made unintentional mistakes and thoughtless remarks without thinking. We all have made mistakes.  I can be a better person with those circumstances.  They did not address the haters, or the people who will rejoice by the drop of a hat to see me be unsuccessful.  How can I be in mixed company with them?  Why would I want to?

    But what happens when the offenders are remorseful?  Now they want you to forgive them.  The victims need time to heal from the offense.  A mature person would understand that it takes time. If they don’t, it is obvious that they have no intentions on being peaceable.  We can associate the process of forgiveness with the grieving process when someone dies. When I lost my loved ones to death, I also experienced different stages of grief.  Although I had comforted others, I was not fully aware that I would experience the grieving process too. The stages come unexpected.  It creeps up on you.  I had no idea that I was hurting for so long, but when someone does you wrong (low down dirty), it isn’t easy to forgive right away and be a better person.

    We hurt, experience anger, disappointments, want justice, and eventually, if it reaches our hearts, we forgive within time.  If you really forgive, you won’t talk or dwell on the pain anymore.  We have to accept that there isn’t anything that we can do to change the actions of others.  We can only change ourselves or change our interactions with the offenders.  We need time and space to examine our feelings. The offenders should respect that.

    As I pondered on the different ones who have double crossed me, I am forced to understand that the world isn’t mine.  My elderly advisors were teaching me the way.  I may have offended someone also.  With these revelations and insights, I often wonder why the world can be so twisted with hate and jealousy.  These are the qualities that most intentional offenders possess.  You get good apples and bad ones.  People are going to be who they want to be until they see fit to make necessary adjustments.  If they don’t, it is quite okay.  I believe that the elderly advisors will understand that I am not holding a grudge.  I am taking out time to process the offense.  Regardless if we receive a sincere apology or a proper acknowledgement from the offenders, we can sail our ships with a calmness and a cool breeze knowing that the better person thinks and meditates on promoting peace.

    Women: Don’t hide from your past struggle, own it and grow!

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    ccainkar@bohlsengroup.com'

    Article by: Sids Ahky Stevens

    Sids Ahky Stevens lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and daughter. She holds a master’s degree in education and enjoys cooking. Check out her book, Own Your Stupidity.

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