I’ve recently begun watching Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday”. I’ve never watched it before because I wrongly assumed that it was a religious thing. I consider myself a very spiritual person but organized religion has not been good to me during my lifetime so I tend to steer clear. 😦 It is VERY triggering.
Back to Oprah…
She was interviewing a gentleman named Bryan Stevenson who is a very well-known civil rights lawyer. He spoke passionately about what he’s learned from his clients. Keep in mind that most of his clients are death row inmates, murderers… the worst of the worst and yet he spoke with heartfelt compassion for them. When he said these following words, my heart melted a little. I found a new level of compassion within myself for those who are deemed to be the trash of society.
You are better than the worst thing you have ever done.
He spoke about how there can be really good people who make really poor decisions for so many reasons but to toss them aside as though they do not matter only keeps their hearts hardened.
I am not going to sit here and defend everyone who’s done illegal things. I’ve personally met the worst of the worst and have no interest in saving their souls (that is their own job) but his words touched me personally.
If THEY deserve to be dealt with compassionately and with empathy? Shouldn’t I allow that within my own life as well?
I’ve been an idiot. I’ve been rude. I’ve been thoughtless. In the course of 45 years, I’ve managed to break a good percentage of the commandments. Some when I was young and still stupid (maybe you were smart when you were younger and didn’t royally mess up but I did and I did it well) and some when I was well old enough to know better. I am not proud of these things but I’ve come to accept that no one is perfect. Not even me.
I know… just breathe until you recover from the shock. 😉
I am not perfect.
I’ve made mistakes unintentionally and I’ve made other mistakes knowing full well that I was not doing what was best for me. Sometimes I just didn’t know any better and sometimes because I just didn’t choose better.
I will admit that I have set a very high standard for myself in this life and not reaching that high bar is something I have looked down on myself for. I have been harsher on myself than I would ever be on you.
So here is this man on Oprah talking about how murderers are not only murderers. They are more than that moment in their life. They’ve often done good things too. They’ve made really good decisions in their lives beside the really bad ones. If they deserve to be looked at as human, why can I not allow the same for myself?
I’ve done dumb things but I’ve done smart things too.
I’ve made bad choices AND good choices.
I’ve been thoughtless at times yet thoughtful at others.
I’ve lied yet I’ve made things right.
I feel that I should have known better at certain points in my life and I didn’t but I know better now and I do better because of it.
I am far more than the shame filled young girl that I used to be.
I learn and grow each and every day.
I own my mistakes and try to make them right.
I am quite sure everyone who reads this blog tries just as hard.
I am better than the worst things I’ve ever done and so are you.