I thought I was always being graceful toward my husband. Well, maybe not always, but a majority of the time. He would forget to take the trash out (again) and I would bite my tongue and say, “It’s okay..” Well knowing that it wasn’t okay because we were going to have a Mayan temple of trash in our garage before long. It wasn’t okay to me, but what was I going to do? I knew that getting angry about it would solve nothing. I didn’t want it to ruin my day, so I just shrugged it off and went on. I thought I was showing him grace.
Every once and again when something big would come up and we would need to talk about it (aka: an argument) I would attempt to show this kind of “grace” during the conversation. I would shrug things off, making them no longer important to me. If what he was doing wasn’t so important, then it wasn’t a let down that he didn’t do them. It always came back to me though, usually about when the argument got mid-way. I would start having those all well known human feelings, thinking things like “Well what about me? Why haven’t you done this for me? You are supposed to love me!” It is a natural progression for us humans and it is horrible. From here it either goes two ways. I either say what I am thinking and end up hating that I said it a few minutes later, or I don’t say a word and again believe that I am showing “grace”. I shut my lips tight and tell myself that it is not important. The conversation ends and I attempt to forget what has hurt me and move on.
Some of you might be saying that those are ways to display grace. That is true. Not saying something hurtful when it is believed to be “deserved” is grace. But my problem isn’t what I was doing, it was how and why I was doing it. I was sledging through it. I was making excuses for myself and my husband (and anyone else for that matter).
Then something changed. I can’t really explain it, but I decided to not just “show grace” but to actually “feel grace”. I was able to do this sooner than imagined, since my husband came home late the next work day and I had to walk Little W to work with me at the last minute. I was frustrated. I was thinking all of those me thoughts as I got her up from her nap and put in her the stroller “If he respected me he would have been here on time.. If he payed attention he would have known that he had the car seat too and that I wouldn’t be able to make it to work.” I was able to burn off my frustration on the short walk to the center, and time does calm us. When he got to the center to pick up Little W (I had left a note asking for this) a few minutes after we had opened I could tell he was waiting for the storm. He explained and I listened. Instead of pushing it off as “no big deal” in order to let it go, I did something else. I let it be a big deal.
Hear me out, ladies. I let it be a big deal to me. And then I forgave him. Let it go. I let it be something important that he did against me, and then I forgave him. I didn’t try to diminish the action into not being important. That always lead to me not being important. I let it be a big deal in my head. I then forgave him silently to myself and out loud to him with my words and actions. I told him it was hard and what I went through to make it to work, but then I said it was okay, and I meant it. He frustrated me and I let it be a big deal to me. Then I forgave him and it was gone. All of it was gone. There can’t be anything else lingering in myself, because I took it wholly and forgave wholly.
Maybe I am one of the only women who do/did this. Hopefully you out there have always taken the situation and forgiven it fully. You haven’t down-played it to make it alright. You haven’t acted as if it didn’t hurt you when it did. You do take it on fully within yourself and then forgive. I am doing this now, and it has made a world of difference. I’m not sure if my husband notices, because to him it might all look the same. But I know. And maybe the next time we have one of those long drawn out conversations, I won’t be thinking “me, me, me” because I have already felt the hurt and forgave. It is gone. There is nothing still there to dwell on.