Leave Room

Working the cryptogram today, I came across this quote:

“If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water’s edge” — Napoleon Hill

I was forty years old, but every time I walked into my mother’s house, I felt like I was ten. She remembered all my childhood shortcomings and transgressions. It seemed that I would never be free of them.

It didn’t feel like she could acknowledge that I was truly an adult, that I might have knowledge and expertise in some areas that could be of assistance to her.  She was friendly and loving, but not really my friend.

Over the years, that situation eventually changed, and we became very good friends. We traveled together and enjoyed one another immensely. But it was not an easy transition. It was difficult for me to quit feeling like a child. And it was difficult for her to see me as an adult – essentially an equal. And when it came to taking advice, she took it from people in her age group, even though I had professional training and knowledge in that field.

This is true on many levels.  From time to time, someone will do something that has negative impact on our lives. It may be deliberate, or it may be totally accidental. But the effect is negative, and we tend to remember those incidents for a very long time.

We remember the person as the one who hurt us. We can exacerbate that incident by concentrating on the negative effects. Or we can mitigate the effects of the incident by forgiving and letting go.

Letting go of the memory sometimes works against us because we have forgotten that the person was untrustworthy, and we can be hurt again.

But it also allows for that person to grow and change. I was not the same person at forty that I was at ten. None of us is. We all grow and change to some degree or another.

Jesus says:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  ~~  2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Seeing the faults and shortcomings of others is easy.

But don’t let us set them in concrete. Let’s leave room for others to grow and change.