"They are only doing their best."
We hear this a lot, when we are trying to find compassion and empathy for those who have hurt us, or hurt others. And it is true - we have to remember that everyone is just doing the best they can with what they have got at their disposal - their story, their context, their beliefs and their experiences that make them (in fact all of us) act and respond in certain ways.
But - this does not mean that we have to tolerate their best. If someone hurts us, it is okay to acknowledge that they know no better but to also acknowledge your right to take yourself away from that behaviour. Compassion for what makes someone behave in a certain way sits hand in hand with compassion for yourself, and for your right to not be in situations that hurt or harm you.
What if you want to help them make better decisions, better choices? What if you want to help them write a new narrative, reframe their experience to something more meaningful - absolutely we should do that. Where someone reaches out to us in pain, we should help if able, and support. BUT - this help and support needs to be recognised and welcomed - if you try to help someone who does not want to be helped, it has repercussions for both you and them.
So remember the next time somebody hurts or upsets you, that to be a whole hearted person we should recognise that they are doing their best, and help and support them if they want to change their path, but we must do so acknowledging and respecting ourselves in the process.