Yesterday I had a bad day. In fact, I had a remarkably bad day. When I went to pick up the little girls from the bus stop I was so excited to see their little faces, to hug their little bodies, to kiss their little noses, and to rush home to begin our Monday night routine. Last night I had big plans to chop all of my hair off, a decision I’d made last week, and I was ready to get the festivities rolling.
When I got to the bus stop my bad day turned real bad.
I don’t lose control easily. I’m a control freak…so a moment in which I lose it is rare. Especially in front of those who aren’t within my inner circle of friends and family. But you know when you’ve had challenging times with someone over, and over, (and over) and you lose the ability to deal with them objectively? Yes…well that happened to me yesterday. I got out of the car and suddenly I was not calm. I was not kind. I was not thinking about the little girls who would soon be coming around the corner on their bus. I was thinking about how tired I was of being treated like a child, how sick I was of being spoken to like I’m an idiot, and I lost it. The conversation that ensued was not one of my finer moments. I am really proud of my ability to put the girls’ needs first. Keeping their lives and their perspectives top of mind. That typically allows me to deal with utter ridiculousness and idiocy without doing much more than batting an eye. Usually I’m the cool one, the one above it all, the one who can smile in the face of contention because, at the end of the day, it simply doesn’t matter to my life. But yesterday, in an entirely uncharacteristic move, I. Just. Snapped.
Today I am mortified. No matter how many emails I receive from girlfriends telling me it was bound to happen at some point, and that it’s amazing it hasn’t happened sooner, and no matter the fact that it wasn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things? I’m just so ashamed of myself.
This morning I started thinking about forgiveness. And love. Five years ago yesterday I went on the first date with my husband. It was FABULOUS. For a couple of months we had the most wonderful courtship free of outside influence and stress. It was in those very few months that we fell in love. A love that, against all odds, has carried us through some very very ugly times.
In the years that followed our worlds were rocked by a barrage of nasty, and a couple of truly devastating, events. Because the family of our girls is made up of people with whom we did not choose to spend our lives it’s made for some incredibly challenging and mind numbingly frustrating times. Whereas my husband can step back and see things as they are, I have this need for justice and understanding, and there are times that I just can’t let things go.
I go through phases during which these things never cross my mind and it doesn’t affect me or my feelings about our life one bit. And then there are times, when maybe other pieces of my life are feeling a bit off, when I latch onto it and cannot let it go. When I find myself making arguments in my head to get those involved to understand how ridiculous they’re being. All the time. When I try to make sense of actual crazy. Which…as we all know…is completely impossible. You can’t make sense of crazy. You can’t change stupid.
This morning I’ve been thinking about the kinds of relationships I want to have in my life. And for those I need to have for the girls’ sake, what I want them to look like, because this isn’t it. The conversation I had yesterday is not a conversation, or situation, I ever want to repeat. I’ve been thinking of the kinds of relationships I want the girls to see us having. The kind of environment I want them to live in. And really? I just want them to be surrounded by love. If I’m harping on justice and trying to make sense of crazy? It’s going to actually make me go crazy. And that is not what I want for the little girls and most certainly not what I want for myself.
So today, as I recover from my embarrassment hangover, I am going to spend every second of free time forgiving. I don’t forgive easily. I’m incredibly loyal to those I love and when people do them wrong I am hard pressed to give them the time of day. I don’t hold grudges so much as I write people off. But today I need to make a concerted effort to forgive those around me that I feel have wronged those I love, who have treated me poorly, and who continue to make life a little challenging. I need to forgive them simply so I can let it go. Because I don’t have it in me to fight these fights anymore.
Forgiveness can be such a relief. Such a weight lifted. But forgiving oneself can sometimes be truly life altering. I am completely and utterly horrified that I couldn’t hold it together yesterday but I have to forgive myself for it. Beating myself up will get me nowhere.
Think about how much happier and lighter we’d all be if we forgave those who had hurt us and if we forgave ourselves for mistakes we’ve made! I have to believe our capacity for love and happiness would grow exponentially if old grudges were gone and we were no longer harboring hard feelings for things that…at the end of the day? Just don’t matter.
TODAY: What if I take this day to forgive those I feel have done me (us) wrong? What if instead of feeling disdain, I wish anyone who touches the lives of my little girls nothing but love? And what if I separate the challenges we face from the reality that is OUR life? Which, if I do say so myself? Is pretty great.