A Moment of Honesty

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Throughout the course of this past year, I've received countless emails from each of you about your testimonies, your instances of sin, forgiveness, and redemption. I love the conversations we've shared and the honesty within each of your hearts.

So I guess it's time for me to be honest.

I am a failure at being the bigger person.

Ever since I was a little girl, my mom and step-dad have always reminded me to "take the high road," a.k.a to be the bigger person in every situation. Yet ever since I was a little girl, I constantly find myself wondering WHY. Why do I have to do the right thing? Why can't I gossip incessantly or seek revenge in every way I can? Sounds harsh, but honestly that's where my heart is right now, and I don't like it one bit. Not one bit.

Right now I'm sitting in my dorm room looking out the window at the golden dome here at the University of Notre Dame. Man, does it feel good to be back home or what. I've loved every second of high school and my life in Dallas, but everything about this campus before my eyes symbolizes new life, new possibilities, new hopes.

I want this year, my sophomore year, to be filled with all things new. I want to refine myself and my surroundings and dive into my faith on a deeper level than ever before. I want to assist in the process of enabling this campus to come alive with the spirit of our Father. As I take my first few steps into sophomore year, I am carrying this verse with me:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
The NEW creation has come:
The old has gone, the NEW IS HERE!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

What a joyous proclamation. It gives me so much hope.

Relating this verse to what I mentioned about being the bigger person, this year I want to be brand NEW in the way I treat the people in my life.

I'm tired of expecting perfection from family, friends, and even complete strangers. I'm worn out and used up and exhausted from the weight of high expectations.

This year, I will let people be as they want to be (myself included).

I'm tired of analyzing everyone's mistakes and holding on so tightly to the past, hands trembling, palms sweating, refusing to let go of yesterday's failures.

This year, I will learn how to forgive. No matter how hard that may be.

Most of all, I'm tired of not being the bigger person. In the moment, I always know that what I'm doing is wrong wrong wrong. Gossip bites at the soul and eats away at one's potential to become who that person was created to be. When you speak of others in any sort of negative light whatsoever, you are only hurting yourself. First, you're making yourself look like a complete and utter fool. Whatever respect anyone has for you will gradually be stripped away the more you gossip. Second, you're only making the situation at hand worse.

The only way to mend the brokenness in your life is to be the bigger person.

The only way to forgive the people who have hurt you is to be the bigger person.

And above all, the ONLY way to live a life a of celebration, the live you've always wanted to live, free from insecurity, drama, and hatred, is to make the conscious decision to be the bigger person.

Ralph Waldo Emerson touches on this subject so perfectly in his essay on self-reliance. Sometimes I get so caught up in the idea of well yesterday I wasn't the bigger person so how could I possibly be the bigger person today? In response to my fears and anxieties, Emerson wisely points out that it's okay to let today's actions completely contradict yesterday's actions. SO WHAT if you failed yesterday. Try and try again today. Today is brand new. You are brand new. Your thoughts, actions, and character can be brand new too. In a way, it's almost bad to be consistent in your character, for you need to be constantly refining yourself - each day, improving the way you live your life. In the words of Emerson himself...

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today. - 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' - Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras, was mis understood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."

Be kind today, although it may contradict everything you did yesterday.

So what if you failed to forgive yesterday. Forgive today.

So what if you failed to love yesterday. Love today.

So what if you gossiped, cheated, and lied yesterday. Don't gossip, cheat, and lie today.

So what if you weren't yourself yesterday. Be yourself today.

It is never too late, and you are never too far gone. There is hope.

This is my year of freedom.
My year of grace.
Let my soul and yours be filled with newness of life on this day.

Song of the Week

P.S. Happy Birthday to my lovely roomie, Mary! :)

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