This step to inner freedom
means you can stop judging others,
and really begin to hear
the caring and insightful criticism of others,
because you have finally
admitted to yourself
both your highest potential
and your greatest weaknesses.
Once you recognize
to what depths you are capable of sliding,
you stop defending yourself
from other people’s criticism of you,
and you stop blaming everybody else
for what you have surely done.
Gone is the defensiveness
that has cemented you
in the unwillingness to change.
In this acceptance of your own meager virtues
and your own massive failures,
you have the chance to understand
the failures of others.
You have the opportunity to become kind.
The seventh step to freedom
asks you to accept the idea
that you have plenty of room for growth.
It opens you to new possibilities within yourself.
You can stop saying,
“Well too bad, that’s just the way I am,”
and begin to say,
“There is more that I can be.”
This step to freedom
gives you a new perspective on life,
opens your eyes to the good in the world,
and makes hope ageless.
—from The Way to Inner Freedom: A Guided Journal by Joan Chittister (Benetvision)