This video started my morning. I can’t stop laughing about it:
A few weeks ago I had dinner with a friend who didn’t realize I was divorced. It was a hard conversation. She’s a friend from New York and her husband and my ex went to law school together. She’s friends with me on facebook and she was dumbfounded with the fact that we’ve interacted via social media over the last 6 months and she had no clue.
“You’ve been so graceful, I went back through your posts and I would have never known.”
I’ve heard this several times over the last few months. Oh, I’ve certainly had my moments in private. I’ve yelled, screamed, and thrown things. I’ve used choice words plenty of times. One could even say I’ve been slightly less graceful on this blog but overall, yes, I agree, I have been pretty graceful about my ex-husband. Why wouldn’t I be?
I’m hurt, I’m in pain, all yes. But as soon as he said he was done (correction: as soon as I knew he was done which was about 6 weeks before he actually said it) I knew I had a choice, I could accept the fact with grace, deal with the pain and move on or I could hate him. I admit. It was too much at first. The pain was too great, the hate took over, but it only ate me alive. That’s the way hate works, it eats the person who hates alive, not the person you hate, or maybe not the person, but at least their actions.
We have such a great capacity as human beings. We have a depth and a strength far beyond what we know we are capable of. We describe the depth of emotion in falling in love or having a child, but we sometimes forget the side of anger, of darkness, of hate that can creep into our soul and blacken our hearts.
I was full of anger, I was full of hate, sometimes those things still creep back. But I also have a choice to make, moment by moment. I can choose to express that hate openly, or I can chose to live a life of grace.
This is tricky for me, for all of us. There is a thin line in my life between grace and becoming a doormat. Those of you who know me personally will have trouble envisioning my ability to be a doormat. However, I am a BIG people pleaser and desperately want others to be happy and feel loved. But grace needs to walk the balance of authenticity, vulnerability, and the conscious decision to tell the truth without slander.
Or as the Apostle Paul says, we are charged to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
I will not lie about the pain someone else has caused me, nor do I expect them to lie about pain I have caused. I do however, expect us to treat each other with grace. Not niceties and platitudes, but grace.
Haters gana hate. But we need to find healthy avenues for expressing it. Not in passive aggressive, or really any aggression at all. We need to treat each other with grace.
Ellie Wiesel is famously quoted for saying he can’t hate the Nazi’s because that makes him like them. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Dehumanizing those who are dehumanizing you only contributes to the cycle of dehumanization in the world.”
Stop the hate, feel the feelings, sure, but let’s stop the hate and the slander. If I can do it, I truly believe you can too.