I live my life in a lot of forgiveness.
I suppose we all do.
And there’s so much that I want to say about that. I don’t quite know if all the words are in me now, but maybe someday, I will tell you what it feels like.
There is a point where one is responsible for their actions and thoughts. They are responsible for themselves, in that way. I know there is a difference in being responsible to and for. Generally, you are responsible to others for various reasons. A teacher. A parent. A friend. A caretaker. This is your job as a human being. You are responsible to the human race and probably animals like cats and dogs, if they’re your pets. Maybe a little pig, if you’re lucky.
But, you are responsible for yourself.
I can’t blame why I do what I do on my parents or their parents. I can’t blame it on the media or my neighbor. I am responsible for me. That’s a lot of pressure as a human, yeah?
I think this might be why we break into millions of pieces, sometimes. It is hard when the two get jumbled up and we are left with a gaping hole in the earth below us.
What I mean to say, and what feels heavy right now, is that there is a lot that hurts right now. Mostly inside me. I can’t say what I want to say because I know people will argue and “respectfully” disagree. The fact that there aren’t many good answers in dealing with hard social issues is problematic for me.
Like how I’m afraid of guns — not because I don’t know how to use them, but what I might do with a gun. And I’m afraid of what you might do with a gun even if you were raised with them and hunt with them and you are happy with your life.
That’s why I don’t own a gun. That is why my views on gun control are so conflicted, because I know so many great, wonderful people who have them and don’t seem like a threat.
And like you, I have every reason to have something completely random and messed up happen. I think what burdens me is how scared people are. There are so many reasons. Where you grow up. What you grow up in. The messes we find ourselves in. Even the privilege of being raised in a place where I hardly ever saw crime. That is my backpack, though. It is very light. Maybe, ten years from now when and if my situation changes where I feel having a gun keeps me, and helps me feel safe, I will change.
It is not now.
Changing is so radically important. It is so hard. Having a person change their mind is a revolution in itself. Perhaps enough to pull a gun away from someone’s direction. Or those who hold on to this Southern flag for reasons of racial pride and “heritage” without really feeling the depth of what it looks like to the other fifty percent of the population. If what you are doing is hurting another person, think about it.
Even as I think about the people who make my clothes and grow my food,
Which is why I am here to say that I am glad to live in forgiveness.
I’ve been able to move through my life, thus far, relatively lightly.
Overly-senstive. Quiet. Unassuming. But hopefully kind and thoughtful in between. This doesn’t go without my kitchen persona in the heat of a moment where I might snap at you for complaining too much or slamming pots and pans.
Another reason for forgiveness-stuff.
Moving was really hard. Losing my best friend and partner was excruciating. Losing anything is hard. But in those moments, so many things change. I lost some things I needed to lose. Some of my beliefs were challenged and it settled a bit. Sort of like a pile of rocks sliding, and adjusting to their new position for another twenty years. Until the earth moves and they tumble again.
That is what it feels like to change.
So I won’t stay quite settled. My reality is often shifting like loose sand.
I know myself enough to understand that now, I am responsible. For bills and being a good person and moving along in my part of the world, hoping to leave it better than I found it. For me, that looks like questioning things that hurt people a lot. I realize fixing this problem isn’t a reality, but I can cover it in some grace in hopes that more of it works its way on down, into the cracks of the icky things we hurt for.
That is what change is all about.