Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Now I'm self conscious. I started this blog so I could get out how I felt without being self conscious, and at first, it worked. But now I'm feeling self-conscious. So I am going to work at being genuine here. I'm not sure I can write honestly right now, but I'm going to try.

See, I said some things. I started talking here about some feelings that I was having, some frustrations I was experiencing and I think I scared some of you. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare anyone. I want so much to take back what I said so that you won't feel worried or uncomfortable. But I can't. I can't do it if I hope to get beyond these feelings I am experiencing. To stop, as someone I love dearly said, grumbling, and live my life fully.

This someone, who I will not name lest they feel embarrassed that I singled them out, means a lot to me. They wrote me an email telling me how worried they were about me. They want me to stop holding on to the things that cause me pain and to forgive as Christ has forgiven and to embrace the life that He has for me.

I find the sentiment touching, but the thought quite frustrating. This person, whom I love dearly and do respect, just doesn't see that I am trying to do just what she is insisting I do. The issue at hand is not whether or not to forgive but HOW to forgive.

As discussed in a previous (though brief) post, forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is not turning a blind eye to something either. Forgiveness requires you to know about the wrongdoing. Forgiveness requires an awareness of error. Forgiveness happens when in spite of this knowing you are able to leave your heart open to relationship again. I have not learned how to do that. I'm not sure how to acquire that skill.

When you see someone else capable of a desired skill, it can look effortless. When you watch figure skating, for instance, it is beautiful. The partners skate, arms outstretched, wearing colorful leotards, and spin, flip, figure eight and glide. It looks so easy. Have you ever tried to skate though? Have you ever been out on the ice, weak ankles wobbling, trying to get yourself to go OVER THERE!? I have. It isn't easy, effortless or graceful. At least it isn't the way I do it. I find it awkward, stressful and painful. I shake, go much slower than any professional skaters pair would, and am lucky if I remain erect more than 20% of the time.

I think learning other things, like how to forgive, is like that too. And so far, I haven't even managed to learn how to stand. I'm just watching the experts, trying to get a sense of what it is "supposed" to look like. So you'll have to forgive my wobbling and awkward attempts at grace.

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