1. You want to see the good in people. You want to see the good in them so much that you literally try to take on their mistakes and flaws. When you believe in someone’s potential more than you do their reality, you begin to assume that their mistakes somehow have to be your own.
2. If you tried to see the good in yourself as much as you do everyone else, you’d change your life forever.
3. If only you could realize how much kindness it takes to always assume people are innocent. If you only you could realize how much love it takes to want to make everyone happy.
4. Be the peacemaker in your own heart more than you are in other people’s lives. You do not need to be a martyr for their wars. If your nature is to want to help others, to dissolve conflict and blame and guilt and shame, start with yourself, and then stay with yourself.
5. Learn to run to your own defense before you do other people’s.
6. Learn to trust yourself. Trust your experience, trust your eyes, trust your gut. You know what you saw, you know what happened, you know who was or wasn’t at fault. Don’t let yourself panic and start making up narratives that don’t exist.
7. Come to terms with the fact that sometimes, bad things happen and they don’t have a discernible cause or reason. Just because it doesn’t make sense doesn’t mean you are the one who is responsible.
8. Come to terms with the fact that you want to attribute those bad things to your own faults because then, at least, you have some control. Then, at least, there’s something you can do, rather than watch other people suffer.
9. When you are really worried that you are a bad person, as yourself this: Did you rob any houses today? Did you maliciously and intentionally hurt anyone? Did you start your day with an intention to wreak havoc on other people? Are you actually a bad person?
10. … Or is it possible that you are just afraid of people not loving you, so much that you want to try to identify any reason why they would possibly dislike you and then act as though that is reality so you can fix it before they have a chance to outcast you?
11. Ask yourself each morning: What would you tell your daughter? What would you tell your best friend? What would you want her to take on, and what would you want her to let go? Start talking to yourself the way you would someone you love.
12. Being paranoid about other people’s problems is the biggest waste of your limited time on Earth. You’re dwelling on the only issues that you cannot singlehandedly resolve.
13. At the core of always blaming yourself for other people’s f*#kups is really a desire to be loved. And perhaps if you let yourself see and feel and know how loved you really were, you would address the real problem here, which is worrying that you aren’t enough, and that you are really a “bad person.”
14. Chances are, you are probably highly empathetic. That’s fine, the world needs more of you. But don’t let yourself drown in the weight of other people’s problems, just because you can literally feel them and therefore, they seem like your own. The most important way you can be of service to the world is by learning to discern what’s your issue vs. what’s someone else’s. You can’t assist anyone when you’re too busy worrying about your own nonsense.
15. Let people run the course of their lives. Let people deal with their consequences. Let people feel uncomfortable. Trying to lessen someone’s experience of self-inflicted suffering often robs them of the experience they need most, which is to learn, and then to grow.
16. Know that by doing the right thing – even if it means letting someone else face the consequences of their own actions – you are not setting yourself up for other people to abandon or turn their backs on you. You are aligning yourself with the energy of honesty and truth, not deception and guilt.
17. Throughout your life, people will hate you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. This will not matter if you don’t also hate yourself.
18. Sometimes, suffering is the most important experience a person can have. Who are you to take from them the fire that is going to help dissolve their illusions and set them on the right path? Who are you to think that you are even capable of doing so?
19. Placating evil is being evil. It is taking on the role of the bystander. Half of being a decent person is being willing to call out injustice when you see it.