On the level of acceptance, because of the major change in the way we perceive others, we now become aware of the inner innocence behind the frantic, fear-driven struggles that have obscured it in ourselves and in our neighbors, friends, and family. The great teachers have said that the negativity which we see in a person or in society is really due to blindness, ignorance, and unconsciousness. This inner innocence, once it is perceived in others, is also perceived in ourselves. All that we did was done because we just didn’t know better at the time. If we had known a better way at the time, we would have done it that way. “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” we say. We see that same blindness operating in others, and we can look past their character defects and see the innocent child within.
Once we see our innocence, there is an identification with others and a loss of feeling alone and stressed. We are able to see innocence even behind the most rash and apparently horrible behaviors. We look inside a person and see the frightened animal that just doesn’t know any better. …
In the state of acceptance, it is possible to forgive our own past, as well as that of others, and to heal past resentments.
Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, Ch. 11, pg.167-68