Saturday, September 17, 2011

another quickie

A couple of months ago, in one of the riffday posts, I said this:

Cheery-o sent me a book a couple of years ago about forgiveness. Being a hyper-sensitive sort, it is easy for me to get offended or to get my feelings hurt over little things, and then I just don't know what to do with it. You can't make a big thing out of a little thing, it leaves you with no friends. The author of this book (Lewis Smedes) said (I think in the very first chapter), sometimes you don't have to forgive people. Sometimes you can just let it go. (silence) (insert pause here).... (insert another pause....) (light bulb goes on over my head) You CAN? REALLY? It was news to me, a true life changing moment. You can just let the little things go. Who knew?

I have a ton to do today, so I decided just to cut and paste it, which saves me thinking of how to paraphrase it, and you from having to check the link.  It has occurred to me, this morning, that this applies to me, too.  I don't have to feel wretched about the little things I get wrong.  Because I forget something once doesn't wipe out the 327 times I remembered.  If I am 98% dependable, then I am a dependable person.  The 2% I screwed up is forgivable, it doesn't make me undependable.

This is mind-blowing to me. 


  1. OK, you guys help me out here. Because I immediately started arguing with myself after I posted this. There are situations where 100% dependability is required, and if you're 98%, you're not dependable. Ack. I hate when my brain is like this.

  2. If you are a pilot then you want 100% dependability. I think Pilot Man would agree. For all the rest of us poor peons then 98% or less on occasion is perfectly acceptable. And YES you can just let things go and not necessarily forgive. I have done it. It didn't kill me.

  3. that's a good way to look at it. Because that's the kind of thing I was thinking, too-- brain surgery, special ops. But in those situations, you have years of training before anyone lets you go it on your own, so it is different than the rest of us.

    And I know what you mean about letting things go-- now that I'm getting the hang of it, it's enormously freeing. Love that.

  4. It's all about generalities. For the most part your 98% is absolutely fine. For those very few moments in very few people's lives in those very few and specific cases, only 100% perfect will do. And yet... they are still people, so mistakes and imperfections still happen. All of it can be let go, as long as there was never malicious nor harmful intent. Most of the time. Usually. (Crap, now you have me doing it.)

  5. lol, Julie, I KNOW. That's exactly how this feels. I mean, sometimes you DO have to be 100% reliable. But what i was originally talking about in this post was that I have for my entire adult life felt like an unreliable person because SOMETIMES I space out and forget stuff. But earlier this summer, someone described me as someone who could always be depended on, and I was truly surprised. Really?

    So then I started thinking about all the ways that I am reliable, all the times that I do what's needed even when I don't want to, all the times that I've been there when my kids needed me, and so on. And it made me realize that maybe the few times that I screw up don't define me as much as the 98% of the time that I do what needs to be done.

    Hmmmmm. Just thinking out loud here, as always.