Hey guys, I really missed you while I took a break from blogging.
During my time off, my husband Dave and I got to visit our grown kids in Oregon. Picture lots of hugging and talking and eating.
We also attended the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina for the first time. Picture a Christian version of Woodstock—music, general grooviness, and… mud. It rained drops the size of water-balloons the entire weekend. We almost felt guilty for staying in a cabin while hundreds of folks
camped floated in tents.
But here’s what I really want to talk about today. Despite the fun I had on these trips, I often felt out of sorts. I got cranky, easily offended, and judgmental. Barely anyone was acting the way I wanted them to.
Of course, I knew this meant I wasn’t happy with myself. But that didn’t make it better. After we got back, I continued to grump around and bicker with Dave. Once, during a heated argument about why Edmund had pooped in the living room, I got so angry I actually felt drunk.
Which scared me into action. I doubled down on my practice of prayer, meditation, and spiritual readings. This briefly revived my dream of becoming a paragon of spirituality—but soon it faded.
I was still just me in all my inglorious suckyness.
One morning, I read a passage in a book that was talking about God’s great compassion for all of us in our humanity, not just in spite of it. I started to cry. Somehow I felt genuine surprise at the obvious truth that I am just a human being. Always will be. And that’s okay.
How come I can’t seem to get this through my head? No matter how hard I try, I’ll never get beyond being human.
Looking back on that morning when I cried, I realize now that it wasn’t just an awareness of God’s compassion that moved me toward release—it was how the force of his mercy dislodged within me a rush of compassion for myself.
Lately, I wonder how my life might change if I could experience that on a regular basis. Sure, I’d still get cranky and snap at Dave and battle my ego and wake up selfish. But I’d be kinder to myself about it, too.
I’ve noticed that many of us in recovery have a difficult time practicing self-compassion. Maybe being hard on ourselves feels familiar, safer. Maybe the idea of making allowances for our failings sounds too much like making excuses for our addiction. But they’re not the same thing at all, and the difference really matters.
For this next season of my journey, this is what I want to learn. How to be a woman who tries really hard without being hard on herself. Of course, I will wildly fail, even at this. But isn’t that the point?
I’ll know again how much God loves me in all my inglorious humanity.