Ok. In my last article, I wrote about how to live without being offended. Since then I’ve had a couple of close encounters. So when I was confronted by another person whether I was offended or not, I had to catch myself from shrugging it off with an excuse. Instead I took a moment and consciously decided to take a risk to be honest and vulnerable.
Fact is we’re not going to be ok with what happens to us or how people treat us. Even though we know we can’t blame others and we’re responsible for our feelings – inside we still feel crappy and angry. In the midst of this, we need to be honest with ourselves. This means recognizing our blind spots and working on them. This will be painfully hard, and at times we’ll fall flat on our faces. But that’s why we need to show ourselves grace. Grace to grow, and time to heal. With each new day we get a ‘do over’ to be a better person, to take another chance, and to be fearless. So instead of avoiding the thing that’s causing us pain or avoiding the person that’s making us feel uncomfortable, we must face them head on until it no longer has a negative effect on us. Be brave, with each moment.
How do we live in a way where we don’t easily get offended? Where our feelings aren’t at the mercy of people’s behavior, actions, or opinions of us? I know it’s hard not to feel insecure when someone accidently overlooks us or intentionally leaves us out. But if we want freedom in this area of our lives, we must begin to know our worth.
So, where do we start? First, we need to stop blaming people for how they’re making us feel. We always have a choice, and we’re responsible for our feelings. Second, we need to look at ourselves. Our reaction is a good indication of what’s already going on inside of us – perhaps we still have childhood wounds or dealing with low self-esteem. Lastly, we don’t want to base our self worth on people, possessions, or position because they’re circumstantial and therefore can be taken away from us at any moment. Our self worth needs to come from who we are as a person – inner strength, quality of character, quiet confidence, and a nurturing self-love. Once we begin to love and accept ourselves we’ll become immune to outside influences.
Once we discover our true worth, we can live without being offended.
One of the most valuable lessons we can learn in life is how to love other people unconditionally. This doesn’t mean we condone a destructive behaviour but it does mean loving them with no strings attached – it means seeing them beyond their actions. So instead of being frustrated by their behaviour, or hurt by their actions, or offended by how they are, we’d save ourselves a lot of heartache by learning to love them where they’re at – happy, sad, upset, and even angry. Being hurt or offended by how they are will only cause more pain, misery, misunderstanding, and create distance.
We’re all a work in progress and are in desperate need of a daily transformation – to grow and live beyond our mistakes, hangups, and pain. We need each other to reach our full potential, see beyond the present, and discover how to love one another. When we feel genuine acceptance and compassion, true transformation begins to take work within us, and so with them. We need to envelop ourselves with love and then extend that grace to others, especially to those who are hurting, frustrated, angry, and lonely.