In Grace We Are


Mental Health, Musings / Sunday, February 4th, 2024

It’s early Sunday morning. One of our clients wants to “talk.”

I am nervous. We had had a bit of an uncomfortable discussion around payment on Friday.

I call them. 

She picks up.

“I want to say that we are truly sorry. We allowed our biases to creep in. We talk so much about biases, but we didn’t realize our own biases. Our blinds. I would like to ask you to please allow us to show our remorse. Please raise the full invoice of Rs 60,000.”

I sit there in my old bedroom at my parents’ place, stunned. If the bed weren’t anchoring me, I would have fallen. As it is, I felt weightless at these words. 

These beautiful words that came with no ego. Without any action on my part. I soaked in these words.

They were particularly poignant. The whole of last week and the week before, I had watched a once-cherished friendship crumble. One of the phrases that continue to echo from the wrecks of this ruin. “I don’t think I did anything wrong, so I don’t want to say sorry.”

This in response to an expression of hurt from me. How do you choose right or wrong instead of the person? How do you favor your ego?

I have always believed that I will say sorry a million times if it means something to someone I love. I care about. Being sorry is not always an admission of wrongdoing. A sorry can be about taking accountability for our actions that caused hurt to another. It doesn’t matter if we are right in our behavior – does it not matter what that behavior resulted in? And if the relationship is really worth it, and one sorry can save it, why not? It makes no difference to me but makes all the difference to the other.

Of course, my belief doesn’t have to translate into universal beliefs, but I think holding ourselves accountable is the basic foundation for healthy relationships.

This is how we allow ourselves to slide.

In one action of eternal grace, my clients demonstrated respect.

In another action of understandable ego, this friend, Jelly, failed to do the same.

It’s just this. Our actions are always one step away from showing us the light of compassion. 

———————————–

And in another extraordinary act of grace, I spoke with a friend, C2D, today. A friend I have met twice, who disappeared down a mental health rabbit hole, and whom I hadn’t spoken with much in two years. 

But she wanted to speak, and I was free. 

What we spoke about made me blink back tears. She spoke about her mental health struggles her shutting down over these last two years. I hear you, I told her. I do.

How do I say I hear you, all those of you who fight these demons in our minds?

And then she had me in tears.

“I realized over these two years that you are one of the people I want in my life. I really want you to stay in my life.”

I wanted to cry because I had sent a message in the morning to Jelly who doesn’t want to stay. For me to be a friend. “I want to have more interactions with people who want me in their life,” I had written to Jelly. 

Jelly didn’t want me.

But here was the Universe, answering. 

Sometimes, I think I spend my life chasing the wrong things. The wrong people. 

But it takes the wrong to show me the beauty of what I have.

I have spent much time in the muck of self-loathing over the last two weeks, but I don’t want to take on the loathing in another as my own. There are many flaws in me. But I also know I am more than the flaws. There’s a basic kindness I want to nurture more. A compassion I want to light.

One person choosing to walk away shouldn’t devalue my worth, should it? Their walks aren’t our steps. 

I thought another person walked away in 2017, but I realize she never has. She’s always here – reading my blog posts. (Hi, D. What’s up? Drop in a comment, we are a friendly bunch)

So, I cry when I write this.

I have seen people change. Abruptly shift. Freeze. And wall themselves this week. 

But I also know that their walls aren’t ours to break.

To love people for the long term is to take the flaws, the iridescence of our mistakes, the dark swirls of our love, and to hold them against all the different versions of ourselves. We aren’t any one version. We contain multitudes, and the ones who stay accept those. 

2 Replies to “In Grace We Are”

  1. This is such a nice post… Grace, kindness, compassion- all my favorite words. And I agree with C2D. You are one of the people worth holding on to.

  2. This post made me laugh and cry and be amused all at once. It feels so eerily pleasant that your friend chose to tell you she wants you in her life today of all days.

    And yes, hello D my old friend *giggle.

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