Mercy Begins With Me

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Mercy Monday smallThe things that wake me in the middle of the night and make me writhe with shame are never memories of things I did that were actually wrong. Generally speaking, they’re memories of moments in which I made a fool of myself.

It’s easier to forgive myself for having done something wrong than for making myself look stupid.

Clearly, there’s a lesson in there about pride, but there’s also a truth about mercy. Namely, mercy begins with me.

I don’t know about you, but I hold myself to higher standards than I hold anyone else. I am willing to overlook certain foibles—not all, mind you, but some—in other people, but I lash myself for those same faults. This is not entirely bad, of course. I have a healthy examination of conscience going at any given time, and I value the constant tug from within to become a better person–less annoying, easier to work with–than I was yesterday.

On the other hand, how can I open my heart to others–how can I enter into their chaos; how can I offer mercy, compassion and forgiveness to them–when I have hardened my heart against myself? If I can’t find it in my heart to give mercy to the person in the world I understand best, how can I hope to give it to people whose perspectives and experiences I cannot understand at all?

I have no answers to these questions. They are food for thought for me today, and so I offer them to you as well.

For other Mercy on a Monday posts, click here.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Mercy Begins With Me

  1. Janelle

    I don’t know the answers to any of these things, but I love that you think about them, and I think you are an amazing person.

  2. Connie

    I was ready to leave a friendship because I felt that I was the only one who was working at it. Then I heard that some people cannot give back because they do not love themselves. I knew then that was my friend’s history was of that nature and she was giving all she could. I had to find a way to understand where she was coming from and I had to learn to accept her version of friendship. I am ok with that right now, but sometimes it still hurts.

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