Friday, February 25, 2011

No Hospital Corners

I am trying to forgive some people, and it's hard going. I know I don't want to hold on to resentment and anger any longer, but I want to genuinely find my way in these sticky situations. This year has been about drawing boundary lines, around my own heart and my immediate family, and bolstering up my own confidence to stand up for those dividing lines. Sometimes it's easy to do, and I'm clear on what I'm doing and why, and other times the road is filled with potholes and land mines, and I'm completely unsure of where I'm going.

I do know it's a process, and there are no quick fixes. When we are hurt, by people or bad timing, or situations which spiral out of control and the outcome we hoped for is not going to happen, we have to walk through our feelings and emerge on the other side with as much of our dignity as possible. I want to be myself, in each situation I'm in, and stop giving up pieces of my personality to the highest bidder.

The worst part is that no one is pressuring me to do anything, and I am my own worst enemy. I am beating myself up mercilessly, and giving up too much, and blundering around like an ox in a china shop too much of the time. I think I have forgotten to listen to the still, small voice, which has never failed to guide me if I will only stop to listen, and I've been responsible for more than just myself.

There is an element of emotional mess which we all must live with. I can't have hospital corners all of the time, much as I would like everything to be neat and orderly. Life does not work that way, and it's not up to me to fix it all, and make it easier for others. We must all do our own share, and if it's messy, I have to find a way to live with that.

I wish we walked a linear path in this life, with A leading to B which leads to C and all the way to Z. But that is not what I see. It's more like a zigzag road, moving forward and then sideways and then backwards, and with a lot of hard work, we can inch forward again. God works in spite of all of the brokenness that lives inside of us, and that is a marvel in itself.

I have to stop yearning for order and peace, especially when the ball is not solely in my court. I can't force solutions to big problems. I can only play my part, and improve my side of the interaction, little by little, and work on myself outside of the bigger relationship pictures. I feel raw on the inside, and while it's uncomfortable, it means something is happening, and I'm glad for that budding growth.

Forgiveness is not a light process. It is hard physical work, looking at painful events and deciding to learn what you can from the interaction and to intentionally let go of the hurt you feel. And it's a fluid thing, ongoing, not done once and then over with. That's the hardest part of all for me. It's not neat and tidy, because when you see the people involved and have to face it again and again, you must decide how to respond in each circumstance. I want to be intentional and genuine, and not fake and on the surface, and that never stops being difficult.

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