I just had coffee with someone I haven’t seen in a long time and while we were catching up, he brought up a situation in my life that still feels broken, despite superficial “fineness” with the people involved and enormous efforts at repair. I’m not sure why I felt the need to hide, but I did my best to poker face my way through the conversation, pushing the sadness away from my eyes, not revealing the pain that still remains.
I left the coffee shop and felt sad and a little ashamed. I decided to walk around the neighborhood before returning to the office – to pray, clear my head, and re-center myself. The walk only intensified my feelings. Instead of finding peace, I dove headlong into my worry, shame, and fears, and in rehearsing my anxieties; I started to feel worse and worse and worse. I wanted to “walk it off” but when “it” is on the inside, walking doesn’t always work. Because I am committed to living in freedom, honesty, forgiveness, gratitude and grace, it’s hard for me to accept a situation or relationship’s brokenness, especially after I have done everything in my power to reconcile, without success.
So, what do you do when there is a hurt that might never fully heal? What do you do… when you’ve done all you know to do and the situation still feels a little broken? When you’re a fixer, and you just can’t fix it? When there are no songs on your shuffle playlist that will comfort the prick inside? When you are a pastor and you need to be pastored? When you need to be guided to a place that you cannot get to on your own?
I usually call my counselor or spiritual director, or I journal or talk to one of my small circle of trusted “home team” friends. Today, I did all of the above. From the collective wisdom these encounters provided, one truth strikes me most: I need acceptance. I need to accept God’s grace for the past. I need to accept what cannot be changed (a la Serenity prayer). I need to accept that the past is the past. That one little word – accept – might make the difference between my moving forward and my staying stuck.
May you too work to change what can be changed, and may you accept what needs accepting in your life today.