I have a lot of work to do on myself. A LOT.
I’m not a bad person. For the most part, my intentions are good. But being REALLY good does not come naturally to me.
Recently, someone told a fib regarding Evie. I knew it was a fib. It made me FURIOUS. No, let me rephrase that. I made me FURIOUS.
I marinated in my anger for days. I thought, obsessively, about how wronged I was. How wronged Evie was. And yes, how this person needed to own up to her dishonesty. And suffer the consequences for her actions.
My anger was so deep and all-consuming. I thought of little else. Somewhere around day three or four of my fury, it dawned on me that I was in a really bad place. My anger wasn’t serving anyone. It wasn’t helping to achieve a better outcome for my child. In fact, it was making parenting more difficult because I really wasn’t present when my mind was busy plotting how I would achieve justice.
Thankfully, I don’t get angry with people much anymore. But when I do, I can see that it is a real problem for me.
I began, reluctantly, sifting through my emotions. And yes, I did spend a great deal of time trying to justify, in my head, why it was essential that this person deserved to pay. I tried to tell myself I wasn’t seeking revenge but justice. But I knew I was being a big liar liar pants on fire.
Somehow getting that pound of flesh became more important than everything else. How does that happen?
Thankfully, I had the good sense not to go balls to the wall before I realized what I shit I was being. Had I followed through–I would have been a total asshole. I would have, possibly irreparably, damaged an important relationship, and I would have compromised Evelyn.
A few years ago, I learned to assume good things about people. To stop looking for the bad. Horrible as it sounds, that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But it has really changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined. It is great to have the very highest expectations of people.
Except when people are not at their best.
Separating the less than perfect action from the person is hard for me. And it is hard because I am not all that good at personally forgiving people unless it is on my terms. Read: You confess to your sins, you admit that I am right, and you say sorry.
I guess that is not really forgiveness so much as it is getting my own way. I like getting my own way. But it isn’t necessarily the best thing for my character.
So I am working on learning how to forgive. Unconditionally. It is frickin’ hard! I guess I’m not a person who lets things go easily. Over the next weeks, months, probably years…I will be telling myself that letting go of my anger does not mean that I am accepting a wrong. It means that after I address it, I don’t have room to store it in my heart. To let it fester and grow and take on a life of its own. Not if I want my life to be filled with love and happiness. Anger cannot coexist with love and happiness. I’ve demonstrated this to myself countless times. So I need to release my white knuckled grip on the anger that will surely overcome the very best in me if I let it win.