Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?
We all have principles, but having them is not the same as being able to live by them. Mine is being tolerant and trying to understand the people around me. In my work, I get the chance to do this every day. That also mean that I have to understand acts that people might think of as wrong. It can be the unfaithful wife, or an abusive father. Some ways of living is harder to understand than others. It is easy to feel empathy towards those who have been wronged, but I find it often important to understand why someone inflict pain on others. Why is this necessary? Because circumstances can make all of us walk on a path we rather not walk down. Let’s take some of the people who hurt others in war. They might experience nightmares, and feel so much shame over what they did. Many regret, and if you understand and not judge what they did, it is easier to forgive themselves and thereby moving on. Many change their way and live productive lives where they start helping others. We have to remember that. Most sex offenders want to change, and the best way to do so is starting a new life. Their motivation to do so, might be stronger than for most people and that meant they can be a resource in society. By forgiving themselves, they are in a better position to use their energy on living a life that reflects their values. Because we all have values, and being freed from what you did ‘wrong’ frees energy that went into shame and regret. So that is why my values is to be tolerant. By understanding what can be hard to understand I can be the mirror that makes my patients see that there is hope. There is always hope.