Tuesday, January 18, 2011
"The work of children is to forgive their parents," one of my favourite writers says. I have thought about this a lot. I worry forwards.
I have been thinking about how if the work of my children will be to forgive me (and oh, how I hope they do), maybe the work I have now is to give myself grace. Because in giving myself grace I am teaching them how to forgive by example.
By forgiving myself; allowing freedom for failure, loss and laughter; I am paving the way for them to forgive me and forgive themselves and forgive others.
I open an atmosphere. I create a home. I allow for a way of accepting and friendship that is not paved on perfection and peace, but on release.
"What if we laid down the expectations — of our parents and of ourselves and of perfection ..." Ann says. And I think.
A while ago we had a meal with friends. My daughter doesn't know yet that I endured fourteen years of battle with my body. She has never heard the stories of coming out of that and my fears of what residue will linger over her.
The topic of weight came up. Silly comparisons emerged between the kids and I jumped in - words and distraction - a memory of what I didn't want the future to be. My daughter was calm, perplexed by my sudden interruption into the kids' conversation. "It's okay," she said soothingly, "I like my weight. I think it's fine to say what we are."
Turning to her table-mates, "My Mom says my weight is perfect and that I am beautiful just the way I am. I don't want anything to change about me." There was no pretense or attempted convincing. Just a shrug, a reality, and a little concern about my (!) passionate body language.
I stepped back. I was quiet. I was silenced by grace.
Because this time grace is not forgiveness anymore, but is birthing celebration. It pivots on it's own momentum and becomes joy. The years of built up choice become a new reality and the reality belies a history that always was. A truth just buried under layers and film of worry, fear.
A new unity cautiously unfurls. Between what is and what is given.
In so many areas right now I am being invited into an arena of grace giving way - via trust - to see a new reality. Where the past, the future, the fear, no longer determines my present. But the present truly is a current. One bubbling up and under, not from broiling pain, but newness and hope.
One step at a time. One touch in a moment. Where pain increased, grace abounds even more.
Posted by Misha at 5:06 PM