I chose “Welcome.” I wanted to intentionally be open to whatever happens next. To accept my circumstances with contentment (even while working to change them as needed).
Then she rings the doorbell.
She’s standing on my new welcome mat, the one I bought to remind me of my objective.
She assumes it’s true: Welcome.
But she’s whiny, a bit bedraggled, and not particularly grateful for having to hold her luggage longer than she’d like.
She’s not someone I really want in my home.
But I’ve been friends with her family forever. I should let her in.
Yet I don’t. I hesitate. I analyze the situation. I wonder what went wrong. I wonder how long she’ll want to stay.
She needs work.
Sure, she could use a little patience and sympathy and consolation. She’s gotten it from others. But she’s now asking for it from me.
Instead, I’m giving her judgment, thinking her weak, and failing at her job.
This house is rumored to give grace to the fallen, to give peace to the embattled.
Why not her, too?
So I open the door. I let myself in.
It’s been 4 days since I had surgery. The gall bladder is gone. But the original pain isn’t.
I don’t welcome the pain in me. I don’t welcome the weakness. I don’t welcome the inconveniences.
But I welcome the God who stands with me in the pain. Right now it’s a package deal. All or nothing.
So I’ll take all.
I believe God sees around the corner. He prepares us for it as best as we’ll allow.
I know my pain is NOT hard compared to what others suffer. Mine is minor. Other friends have serious issues: diabetes, unexpected pregnancy, unemployments and relocations and cancer treatments.
So I open my door to what God wants to bring this year—even when it’s me—a woman with a suitcase of whining mixed with a little pain and occasional discouragement. Instead of telling her to get her act together and move on, perhaps I’ll welcome her as she is and trust that God will work through even this.
So we vacuum the guest room and change the bedsheets and welcome whoever God brings to our door. Even when those guests are our imperfect selves. Open the door and be compassionate to all who enter.
Because whatever or whoever comes our way, God comes with them, too.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
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How are you at self-compassion? Please share in the comments.
- Making and Keeping Habits
- Books I Recommend – January 2016