As much as I am all for bettering yourself, I am also realizing that accepting too much responsibility, for wrongdoings, for things, for LIFE, really, is not necessarily the best approach at living. You know the type, or in my case, you are the type, that apologizes for everything. Someone bumps into me or drops something, I instantly apologize.
I've gotten better at catching myself. It comes with the territory of being me, of coming out of what I have, but I'm a little tired of associating myself with "what I've come out of". Known (at least in my opinion) for needlessly being too hard on myself for most of my life, I am what I am.
And I am working on becoming a better Me. A wholer Me. A Me who paints in vivid color.
It is time to be easy. It is time to be honest. It is time to be imperfect and sad and elated and spastic, all simultaneously. While holding daily dance parties with my little one. In yoga pants, or our underwear. It all is part of who I am. And if someone doesn't like that, or agree with it, then perhaps they don't have to purchase the cow, or even drive by the field.
God...God is an amazing individual, an amazing omnipotent force. He manages to be the most ever-present parent without punishment. Life takes care of that for you. He loves me - He loves you! - just as I am. Just as we are. When we drop the ball, he is right there ready to forgive us. For skipping the line, for thinking we hate someone, for leaving church before mass even starts, for cheating. For being human. That is the beauty of being loved unconditionally by someone so powerful, so present, so Full of Grace: He is ever-willing to forgive us, AND forget. All we are required to do is show up, humility and repentance in hand. Where there is repentance, desire to be forgiven, there is Forgiveness. Who can argue with that? Who can ask for anything better?
The biggest miracle of all is that He made us Perfect. In all of our faults, with all the cracks we have developed where things fall through, where The Ball is Dropped, He is there, loving us. Like a Thomas' English Muffin, He is not only familiar with all of our nooks and crannies, he believes they are all part of what make us delicious, unimaginably beautiful, perfect, irreplaceable. Our uniqueness is what makes us identifiable to Him. What ensures He Loves Each and Every One of Us, differently and individually and completely and The Same.
Why is it, then, that we tend to be so hard on ourselves, so hard on our friends? How is it that, at some point, we forget their human-ness to the point where we feel it appropriate to criticize someone instead of loving them - lifting them up? Ah, the crux of that is also due to our human-ness. We are fallible, imperfect, NOT God. So therein lies our daily burden. To be more like Him. To love others as God loves Us: unconditionally, with mercy, full of Grace. But Mr. God, He is Forgiving, remember? He is easy on Us, understands when we need a break, does not seek to make us pay for our sins, is not spiteful. So, in turn, we must try to be. Easy on others. They are trying their best. And in cases where they are not, we are not the omnipotent being we oftentimes believe ourselves to be, which means we never have the full story. In those cases where we aren't as easy on others as we'd like, more so easy on others. In the cases where we just aren't easy on others, easy on ourselves. And in the cases where we aren't easy on ourselves...well, that is what God is for. To remind us, be there, and send a gentle reminder our way. To be easy on ourselves.
So in accepting responsibility, I first and foremost must be easy on myself. Because God is easy on me. In loving and being vulnerable and making friends and starting a new career, He is In Charge. I may try to take less responsibility for others' wrongdoings in the future. I may paint in vivid colors, but sometimes may only be feeling black and white. I may stop associating myself with "what I've come out of", but it will always have a role in shaping me and how I look at things. Will I ever stop apologizing for everything? Probably not entirely, but I'm trying. God not only knows, He understands. On the days that I'm not that understanding of myself, I could not have asked for better company.