At times things happen that are misunderstood. What we attempted to do was perceived differently by others and, as a result, bad feelings arose. Step Nine addresses this problem from the vantage point of the one whose intentions were good, but the result was less than positive. The inference in this Step is that even though our intentions were good, the result might still have hurt, disappointed, or even abused someone, and we should forgive ourselves for any harm we may have caused.
We also need to consider this Step from the vantage point of the person who has been harmed but who may not realize that it was unintentional. Of course, that doesn’t lessen their pain. Not until they come to realize that no ill will was intended can the injured party begin to let go of the hurt and grant us the forgiveness we seek.
If we are the ones in the place where we have been hurt and it seems to have been cruelly intended, then we can overcome the situation by looking at it from a different perspective. Why did they do what they did? Was their intention to do good or harm? As much as possible we look for the good, the loving, and the kind actions, even if they seem to be missing. After all, we have the ability to rewrite history and to make of our past what we want it to be. No one is responsible for our feelings except us. We choose the perception we want to believe. We choose the feelings we experience as a result of our perception, and we also decide whether we will live in peace or in conflict.
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