Tag Archives: forgiveness

A Very Small Parcel

When I reread my last post, I got the sinking feeling that I’d allowed myself to commit the one blogging sin that I vowed never to commit: writing primarily about myself.  Way too many “I’s.”  Feeling slightly redeemed by having invited you to write in, I felt even more grateful that you shared such lovely anticipations.  When I started this blog, I made a promise to myself to try to write only what is worth reading, and for me that is all about what connects with others.  Because honestly, the details of a single person’s life are just not that interesting.  Too many bloggers forget this, and I semi-forgot it myself because I was feeling a little lazy.  And when we are lazy in life, it shows up in writing.  In fact, when we are lazy or distracted or just a tad too self-involved, it shows up everywhere.  As John Ruskin wrote, “A man wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small parcel.”  But then something wonderful came along and inspired me… Continue reading

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Filed under lent, therapeutic writing

Best Not to Start With the Gestapo

I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately, not for a noble reason such as the New Year and trying to better myself, but because, like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, I’m stuck in this compulsive habit of keeping a little psychic notebook of “offenses against Leslie Srajek,” and it gets longer and longer each day.  And I’m not talking about the girl at Panda Express who charges you for “free refills,” or even the bank clerk who–oops!–deposits your paycheck into the wrong account.  Also, this is not to say that I have not made my share of mistakes, because I SO have.

But some people have treated me not so well lately.  If we were in daycare together, they would need to be in time out for the whole day.  Maybe the whole week, with no chocolate Cherrios for snack.  However, like the old blues song says (and what the laws of discretion and good taste dictate), the details of all that “‘t’aint nobody’s business but my own.”  What does matter to all of us, however, is forgiveness.  

Forgiveness mostly sucks, because being angry is SO much easier and less vulnerable.  And if you are a drama queen like me, you enjoy clinging on to your own morsel of pain until the whole world sees how wounded and derserving of love and sympathy and healing and worship you are and …Okay, stop that.  In the end, it’s like Anne Lamott says: not forgiving someone is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.  Also, Annie Lamott has a chapter in Traveling Mercies about forgiveness in which she quotes C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity as saying, “If we really want to learn to how to forgive, perhaps we had better start with something easier than the Gestapo.”  

Repulsive, right? You don't want this to be you.

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Filed under anxiety, hope, poetry, spirituality

The Willingness to Say “I Love You” First

One of the questions that someone recently wrote in was, “Is being in love anything but guaranteed insanity?”  I know this was a serious question, with real perplexity behind it.  But it made me laugh.  Of course it did.  Chris Rock says that if you’ve never wanted to kill someone, you’ve never been in love.  And maybe I’m starting out this post with a somewhat comical tone, because questions about love between long-term partners, and the question, “Are you willing to be the one who says ‘I love you’ first?” scares me almost to death.  Because I’m pretty sure that I’m not.  Maybe sometimes, but not as a rule.

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Filed under advent, courage, love