Accepting that we are Not Always Well Meaning

Accepting that we are Not Always Well Meaning

This was originally published June 29, 2021

Popular psychology likes to tell us that we know ourselves better than anyone.

But our brains are masters at painting ourselves in the most favorable light.

It can be scary and destabilizing once we begin to look honestly at our behaviors and realize that we are not always well meaning. That we have gotten pleasure, status, validation, or a sense of value by putting others down.

We will feel inclined to justify it, excuse it, ignore it, anything other than sit with the reality that the things that upset us most about others are part of our human experience as well.

But making peace with this part of ourselves is the first step towards taking full responsibility for ourselves and owning our agency to the fullest extent we can.

When we can turn to someone and say “I’m sorry, I did that because I was angry and I wanted to make you feel bad,” we have shown up as a whole, integrated individual.

The ripples of this not only touch and bring healing to the deepest, most shame filled parts of our psyche; they also touch and bring healing to all who witness and experience it second hand.

You have just given others permission to own the parts of themselves they spend their whole lives hiding.