Saturday, September 17, 2011

Excerpt from "Grace for the Good Girl"

The following is a paragraph from "Grace for the Good Girl: letting go of the try-hard life" by Emily P. Freeman. 

Some of these words describe my sinful perception with frightening precision.  Surely there are some whose hearts resonate along with mine.  And to others, this may seem shocking and cold-hearted....or just plain pitiful.

Here, read for yourself....

"My fear of, regret over, and inability to handle failure has kept me in hiding. 

But it isn't only my failure that keeps me from living free.  I hold myself to an impossible standard, but I hold you to it too. And I hold him to it and her to it and them to it.  No one is exempt. 

Sometimes it seems justified, the unwillingness to let go of others' failures. His failure affects me, hurts me, and cuts me deep.  Her failure offends me, insults me, and disregards me.  The failures of our parents, spouses, friends, and co-workers are especially offensive to good girls. 

It's why the prodigal son story is so difficult for us.  Because not only have I been wronged when you fail, but the expectation that I have to forgive you flies in the face of everything I have worked for. 

I cannot set you free, because that is too easy for you.  If you receive my forgiveness, then you no longer owe me anything.  I like to be owed.  Your owing me creates a false security for me, one I'm not willing to let go of. 

So I hold on to my right to be right, to be mad, and to be good.

And in so doing, I live what I actually believe:  you should pay for your own sin at your expense and to my benefit, and I get so say when you've paid a high enough price. 

And oh, by the way, my forgiveness is really expensive.  It might cost you everything.  And if you aren't willing to give up everything for me,

then maybe you don't really love me."

Can you even imagine?  Insecurity at the core?  Spelled out with excruciating honesty?

I'd love to hear your thoughts...