Understanding becomes Forgiveness which in turn becomes Love.
When we understand the reasons why people act the way they do, and when we can see where they have come from, what they've been through and all the myriad events that have shaped their perception of, and relationship with the world around them, we can't help but be empathic towards them.
It doesn't mean that we would allow hurtful actions to take place, that we forget those that have, or that we would sit idly by while harm is done, but we can at the very least understand, and in this understanding we find the beauty of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the ultimate expression of unconditional love.
If we are unable to forgive someone, then we have not reached that point of unconditional love, because love held back is love with conditions applied.
We may not always be ready; it may not be the time, space and place for us in our journey to forgive and love unconditionally, but there comes a time when for us to be released from the shackles of our own creation that we must surrender to the divine, and let love fill us, without pretence or expectation.
This process of Understanding --> Forgiveness --> Love is one that I work through with many of my clients.
It can be very challenging to even begin to think of letting go of all the resistance that trauma, abuse and hurt has caused, but we need not be fearful, because all we need do to realise LOVE is to start the process.
And the start is just to begin to understand; to put ourselves in other's shoes and see what has shaped their unique path.
There comes a point when we have a realisation of "I get it...." and the rest simply flows from that 'aha' moment.