“There but for the grace of God go I”.
This was a phrase one of my spiritual mentors used to often say to me.
What she taught me was to avoid making assumptions about people.
It’s easy to look at how people are behaving and assume we know what they’re doing and why.
Sometimes, we might meet the loud, arrogant, bragging person and assume they are a bully. They may even exhibit bullying behaviour.
In years and years of therapy, working with deep and complex trauma, what I’ve learned is that beneath the surface of almost every human is a wound. A wound that we can’t imagine what it’s like to live with.
It’s easy to assume that victims are quiet and meek or seem to be subdued and gentle, and abusers loud and brash.
Yet what we need to remember is that those who have been abused have learned and honed protective mechanisms to protect themselves from further abuse. They have become masterful at protecting themselves.
They have learnt to put on a brave face.
They have learned to pretend.
They have learned to hide any weakness which they know their abuser would target.
As a result, they might come across as arrogant. Because they’ve learned it’s not safe to be vulnerable.
So today, spare some kindness for the arrogant ones, the know all’s, the bossy ones, the loud and brash ones.
Cut them some slack.
They may simply be doing what they need to survive.
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