I’ve been thinking a lot lately about forgiveness and compassion.
I have compassion for Lil’ Frankfurter and forgive him every time he barfs. I don’t have quite the same amount of compassion when he poos in the house. I’m working really hard to forgive him for eating 27 toys and causing us both a lot of grief. I’m about 90% there. So, let’s round up and say score one for compassion.
A few months ago, one of my editors accidentally deleted a document. Recreating it was a hassle, and it was the day before I was leaving for vacation. She was mortified, but it never really occurred to me to be upset. I totally could have done the same thing.
Score two for compassion.
But when it comes to me? To being compassionate and forgiving of … me?
Well, the score is really, really low there.
I make a living being critical. It’s my job to point out flaws and inconsistencies. And really? I’m good at it. I’m good at being a hyper-vigilant freak. I’m blessed to have found a job that takes advantage of my natural gifts.
But when I’m not looking for style guide inconsistencies or misplaced commas, all that critical energy has to go somewhere. And typically, I train it on myself.
My house is a mess. Foxie needs a bath. I need to repair the chip in my windshield. I owe 27 people 27 e-mails. I wore shoes with too high a heel for the pants I had on. The pants were wrinkled. I should lose 10 pounds. Everything I own is covered in dog hair. I have yard work that needs to be done. The right side of my hair is still growing out and looks like a wire-haired terrier. I need to mop my floors.
And there’s some broken little synapse in my mind that thinks, “Well, all of these things are well within your reach … if only you would just try harder.”
Yes. Because clearly, I’m not trying hard enough.
Typing this, I see how ridiculous it is. And yet? Yet, I feel guilty for the time I spent cuddling sweet Lil’ Frank this weekend. It was great, and then I reached that “What am I doing with my life?” epiphany, and I got up and washed windows.
Yes. I washed windows instead of cuddling with my dog. What the fuck is wrong with me?
I’m not compassionate towards myself. I don’t seem to forgive myself for … gulp … being human.
Any words of wisdom?