"When you know better you do better." -Maya Angelou
Oprah's Life Class night was about second chances. She showed us clips from past Oprah shows where she repeated Maya Angelou's words, "When you know better, you do better." One very touching moment was from a woman who was a prostitute at one point in her life. She had moved out of that life onto something better but she couldn't forgive her past. She said to Oprah, "I'm all used up." Oprah gave her hug, made her come onto the stage and said, "No, you are not all used up." Oprah told her the story of when she was 14 and close to a life of prostitution. Oprah said, "It's something you did. It is not who you are. When you know better you do better." It was a beautiful, transforming moment.
Oprah said that when we're angry and not being our best selves, we're working from a place of pain.
It reminded me of A Course in Miracles that says we always have the opportunity to Choose Again. A do-over. A do-over is best done when we forgive ourselves and those around us who may not have been their best selves either. Only then can we move on with a clean slate. Forgiveness doesn't have to be a big confessional production or take a lot of time. A Course in Miracles says it can happen in an instant...with a little willingness, a shift in perception can occur...from fear (I'm all used up) to love (I'm not defined by my past).
The show reminded me of a situation I got into with my friend Chad. I think it was a bad day for both of us. I said something he took the wrong way. He got mad at me. I got mad at him back and the situation turned ugly. We ended up not speaking to each other. After a day or so I said to myself, What was that?! The person I was yesterday is not who I really am. It was a bad day ME...not the real me. I had to realize that I was coming from a place of fear in that moment. Next, I had to forgive myself for moving to that level of discussion, then I asked him for forgiveness. It was never about him. It was always about me. I didn't concern myself with his inner transformation. I focused on my own knowing he would come around when he was ready. To me, the relationship was more important than any disagreement we had, and I told him so.
When I know better, I do better. I thank Oprah for a wonderful reminder that we can turn a situation around when we being our best selves and embrace the power of a second chance.
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Copyright© R. Ann Rousseau. R. Ann Rousseau reviews spiritual metaphysical books on her blog http://www.explorebeyondtheusual.blogspot.com/ and website http://www.explorebeyondtheusual.com/ She has completed her first novel Portsmouth, A Love Story.