The devil is busy. Ash Wednesday was unbelievably tough. After a challenging day, I was pushed to my limit at the very end of the night.
I am involved in an ongoing and tense correspondence which is a direct result of someone else’s actions. The person responsible for the mess is someone who has created lots of problems for me in recent years.(An epilogue) While this person is no longer physically around me, I’m resentful I have to resolve the aftermath. In the latest exchange, the person affected by the poor decisions told me (and two colleagues!) how we should handle the situation. Though I was livid, I responded in my usual way. I was polite, clear, and firm as I clarified my understanding of the problem and how I would be handling the situation. I didn’t reveal that this was that other person’s fault. Why shift responsibility when I’m being held accountable? The good news is that my message seems to have been received both literally and figuratively.
I’m often tempted to take the low road. There’s a part of me that fantasizes about telling people off and putting people in their place in the most explicit, vehement, and aggressive way possible to really mandarlos a volar. Yet that type of behavior goes against my nature, my upbringing, and the values I hold dearest: integrity, compassion, community, altruism, and mercy. I try not to be petty and passive-aggressive; this is one of my greatest sins. It’s very hard for me to express my anger with someone. I struggle to come up with a way that’s going to be in line with the rest of the way I live my life. So it’s kept under wraps. My true feelings get expressed in my writing or my body language, the side eye, the tone in the email or in my voice. I vent with others who may be removed from the situation but that type of venting (aka gossip, another of my sins) goes against the values of community, compassion, and mercy. I have to stay true to myself. I can’t give in to my worst self. My evil Kermit may seem hilarious but in real life, that side of me will wreak havoc. Though I have struggled through years of emotional and spiritual work, I wrestle with this temptation every day.
Lent reminds me of my mortality, my weakness, and my need for a clean heart. It’s my will power and my willingness to be part of the solution. I am here to do right. There’s a whole lot of wrong in the world. Each day, I experience misplaced, misdirected, misunderstood, and misguided pain and anger that those around me do not know how to manage. Sometimes I don’t know how to handle their emotions or my own. Yet every day, I see love and compassion. I stay strong. I remember that my focus is to be a better version of myself for my own well-being but more importantly for the growth of my child. She has so much potential to be an amazing woman someday. I need to do what I can to help get her there. The Lord is testing me this Lent as He should. I am challenged to be strong and brave, and to take comfort in the Lord. Miracles don’t happen without faith and discipline. That’s the truth about many tests that I have faced. They result in growth, peace, and happiness. At the end of this season of struggle, there will be resurrection.