If we accept ourselves in our weakness, our limitations, it will also be easier for us to accept other people.
Often, quite simply, we can’t get along with other people because we can’t get along with ourselves. We have all experience this at some point. Sometimes we are unhappy with ourselves because we’ve made mistakes or fallen into a fault that humiliates us, so we are really annoyed with ourselves. That makes us bad-tempered and even aggressive with others. What does this mean? Just that we make others pay for our difficulty in accepting our own inner poverty. Not accepting our limitations, we take it out on other people… This reaction is very common, and obviously unfair and contrary to the truth. Most of our conflicts with others are nothing more than a projection of the conflicts we are having with ourselves.
The contrary is also true. The more we accept ourselves as we are and are reconciled to our own weakness, the more we can accept other people and love them as they are.
But this is sensitive territory. Where do we draw the line between accepting our weakness and complacency about our sins? Sometimes it is not easy to tell the difference. We need to accept our weakness but clearly we need to reject sin. In the spiritual life we need to find a balance, and it is a subtle one.”
Excerpt from: “The Way of Trust and Love”
A retreat Guided by St Thérèse of Lisieux, page 49, by Fr. Jacques Philippe.
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