Strengthening the Ground You Stand On!
This eye-opening phrase comes from Maya Angelou and I first heard it when watching an Oprah Winfrey show a few years ago and even though at the time I thought I understood the meaning it turns out it didn’t fully sink in until recently when watching one of Oprah’s Lifeclass segments where she really dug into it.
Even though all of her shows, master classes and now lifeclasses focus on life enrichment and enlightenment for the betterment of our inner spirits I have always found it amazing that she could interview anyone and I mean anyone, including those that have been negatively labelled by society. How does she do it without reservation or judgement with regard to the actions that have brought the negative labels attached to them? A lot of times we can end up judging another person based on what we’ve heard or seen of their actions but who are we to judge? I’m quite sure that no one is perfect, everyone has made a mistake at one time or another.
I have chastised myself for the times I’ve allowed others to take advantage of an aspect of my personality and what I finally got from this phrase was while it was not nice for someone to take advantage they were able to do so because I let them, now I know better. I can’t continually punish myself for the actions of someone else because I was hurt by it, all I can do is learn from it and strengthen my boundaries so it doesn’t happen again “When you know better, you do better”.
What an “aha” moment it was when I finally got this in its full context and along with it came the enlightenment that if someone hurt me in my past I can’t continue to judge them for it now or carry it into my future because I allowed it, I let it happen. I didn’t knowingly consent to it but I also didn’t object, I didn’t communicate my discontent and that’s on me. Just maybe, they didn’t know better or maybe they did but that doesn’t matter because all actions have karmic consequences doled out only by the Universe and if someone knowingly and/or willingly takes advantage of another it is not my karma, it is theirs.
Negative experiences usually cause internal emotional hurt and/or pain and we all deal with these kinds of experiences differently. Some act out aggressively to release it, some internalize and act out passive aggressively and some bottle it up. The best way to heal is to acknowledge the hurt, allow yourself to feel it so you can make peace with it, learn from it and only then can you truly move forward and release it.
Negative experiences can sometimes stall you in life and paralyze you from moving forward, keeping you in that time to remember it over and over again. Knowing and doing better because of it frees you.
I’ve made my own mistakes, I learned from most of them, sometimes I had to make them twice to learn but “when you know better, you do better”. I certainly don’t make the same mistakes anymore because now I know better and what I’ve now learned to consider is that maybe those who have caused me hurt in the past were acting out of their own pain. Embracing this philosophy has given me a heightened sense of awareness into myself and others and has shown me another level of the “judgement” lesson, I don’t think any of us ever have it all figured out. This “aha” realization has taught me the deeper meaning of empathy and its connection to all of our emotional challenges but in this case specifically judgement, which has allowed me to further my trust that the Universe takes care of us all in relation to the life we live and the seeds we sow.