Tag Archives: letting go

Carrying with care

Sometimes the box goes in the backseat.

“You can put that box down,” my high school boyfriend once told me. We’d been driving for a while, and had a while left to travel, and the whole time I’d been gripping a cardboard box full of…CDs? Books? The contents weren’t particularly important, but having their weight on my lap was comfortable.

I am comfortable carrying weight, all right with responsibility. Sometimes it overwhelms me, but as long as I am honest, I usually feel light, even if my burdens are heavy.

But it matters what I hold, and why. There is no need for me to balance a box on my lap when I can just as easily put that box in the backseat. It helps to have free hands.

And while I don’t always get to choose my responsibilities, a lot of the time I do. Just because I can carry something doesn’t mean I need to. So I do my best to choose wisely, and if I notice I’m lifting unnecessary weight, I can always put it down.

(And if I really miss it, I can usually pick it up again…)

Rightly wrong

mistake

I like to be right. I’ll admit it: Not being wrong feels amazing. But being right is not important.

In truth, it’s acting rightly that matters, choosing to be “in accordance with what is just, good, or proper.” It’s actions that make a difference. And sometimes I act wrong.

Just now, for example, I should have said “wrongly”–that’s the correct way to use an adverb. But I didn’t care, because I liked the sound of the sentence better when I wrote it my way.

“My way” and “wrong” have a knack for finding each other.

Most recently my selfish will–which I’m still striving to let go of–tricked me into making a mighty mistake, one that has caused a lot of pain. Fortunately, pain is not pointless. Unfortunately, knowing this does not make it less painful.

What helps with the pain is compassion. Because there is a right way to be wrong–a loving way to accept mistakes. Feeling sad sucks, but this too shall pass. As long as I don’t harbor self-hate.

Self-hate wants me to suffer. It believes in punishment, in penance, in perpetuating pain.

Self-hate needs healing too, I know. I won’t banish it from my  “Guest House”–but I don’t have to offer it a cozy chair in which to curl up. I can give compassion the seat of honor.

I made a mistake, it’s true. I acted wrongly. And compassion says, okay.

Compassion says, be kind. It says, you tried. You did your best to be just, to be good, to be proper. And you failed. It’s all right. You are still worthy. You are still loved. Always, anyway, no matter what.

What a relief, amen.