Do you remember when the adorable John Legend came out with the song “Ordinary People”? The video showed different couples and then a family arguing as he sang, “We’re just ordinary people. We don’t know which way to go.”
The song is mostly about challenges in romantic partnerships, but every now and again, those lines come back to me, reminding me to be gentler with myself (in all aspects of my life).
“This ain’t the movies…” he adds in another line. In our normal lives, we don’t get scripts. We don’t get to say, “Sorry I forgot the lines. Let’s roll that one again.” It’s showtime every time. So we basically have to make our own decisions, make up our own lines in the moment! And if it’s a situation we’ve never been in before, we have to wing it. We’re not always going to make the wisest choices or say the most intelligent, peacekeeping things. We’re going to make mistakes, and frankly, sometimes screw things up.
When that happens, remember these lines: “We’re just ordinary people. We don’t know which way to go.” This doesn’t excuse you from taking responsibility for your actions, but it does help you to create a space for yourself where you are able to grow and learn. As Louise Hay often says, we’re always doing the best we can with the knowledge we have at that time. I support that. I believe we truly are doing the best we can in every moment. And whatever you did that you are now not proud of, it’s because you didn’t have the knowledge, state of mind or resources then, that you have now.
So BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF, FORGIVE YOURSELF. If that is hard, simply acknowledge that you are willing to forgive yourself. If you’re still feeling some resistance there, be willing to be willing to be willing to forgive yourself. Accept the lessons you’ve learned with gratitude, and recognize your own strength for facing those experiences.
And even though it’s showtime every time, know that you always have the option of making your next move an apology — whether to someone else or your own beautiful self. Carry on, brave soul. You have all my love with you.