Know all and you will pardon all.
This is a follow-up to my previous post Rediscovering Your Motivational Innocence. As I see it, when you dig down to the motivational depths of all behavior, there is only one core motive: pursuit of wellbeing – we all move away from pain towards pleasure. It is my firm belief that all conscious existence is lined up along this motivational vector. The rest is just variations on the theme. How we go about pursuing our well-being is pre-determined by the intricate interplay of nature and nurture.
Some of us do a better job than others – that is when we compare people to people. But any such comparison is a comparison of apples and oranges. After all, as I have noted before, similarity isn’t sameness and everyone is unique. The difference between how any two people go about pursuing their wellbeing has to do with the differences between their histories.
We are all doing the best we can no matter how much our best pales in comparison with personal and social ideals. Your core motive is always the pursuit of wellbeing. Your effort is always the best that it can be at any given moment in time. Motivationally innocent and perfectly imperfect, you have nothing to blame yourself for. This isn’t some neurolaw argument that “my brain + my past made me do it.” No. You are not hiding behind your history. You are simply taking your psychological determinism into account in an attempt to accept reality as it is.
I realize that you might bristle at this idea. I wouldn’t be surprised if you did. We’ve been culturally conditioned to judge. So, we aren’t particularly keen on forgiveness. But let’s be clear: I am not proposing a legal reform or a new code of ethics (after all, the goals of law and psychology aren’t necessarily aligned), just a a path of wellbeing.
360 of Compassion and Self-Acceptance and Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda, Buddha